Thursday, August 8, 2013

Ghanaian highlife star Jewel Ackah rocks Lula Lounge August 29

Batuki Music Society presents a special double bill featuring Ghanaian highlife legend Jewel Ackah and Adam Solomon's African Blues & Jazz Trio at the Lula Lounge on Thursday, August 29. Backing stellar vocalist Jewel Ackah will be members of Toronto's own highlife heavy-hitters, Afrafranto, including Jewel's son, Kofi Ackah.

Jewel Ackah, born in Ghana’s western Nzima region in 1945, initially had aspirations of being a professional soccer player but  found his true calling as a singer, starting with a cover band called The Pick-Ups in 1965 before finding fame in 1967 with C.K Mann’s Carousel 7
He then moved on to a succession of groups, namely Ebo Taylor and the Railway Band, the El Dorados (of the Aboso Glass Factory) and the Medican Lantics, the resident band of the Atlantic Hotel in Takoradi.  In 1973, Jewel joined A.B. Crentsil’s Sweet Talks, in Tema and continued to perform with them regularly during the mid to late 70s. In 1979 he fronted a new Sweet Talks line-up, and recorded Hallelujah! Amen! with the S.T. Express followed by the release of the solo set Asomdwee Henee. During a brief stint with The Great Pilsner’s Band, a brewery-sponsored outfit led by Jimmy Kwapps, he took time out for a 1980 session with guitarist Kwame Nkrumah to revisit their favourite highlife hits of the 50s that resulted in the lovely Yeridi A Wu album.
After a couple of ill-fated attempts at reaching a younger audience with the soca-inspired Super Pawa and funk-highlife hybrid London Connection albums, he returned to a more conventional modern highlife concept with his own  Butterfly Six in 1985 with which he performed through the early 90s. However, he did reunite with A.B. Crentsil and Pat Thomas for the 1986 album Electric Hi-Life.  Ever since, Jewel has issued a steady stream of gospel albums such as Me Su Fre Wo in 1994 and ‘Ahwereshow’ in 1995. Hopefully the upcoming Lula Lounge show is an indication that Ackah is now aware of the incredible resurgence of interest in West African highlife from the 60s and 70s and he'll once again return to the classic sound for which he's best loved.   

Opening the show is the African Blues & Jazz Trio featuring Adam Solomon on guitar and vocals, bassist Conrad Henderson and Phil Caffery on drums.  Affectionately known as "The Professor," Adam Solomon performs as a blues soloist as well as with his band Tikisa, creating a unique sound that combines traditional and modern coastal East African rhythms, fiesta, rumba, soukous, makossa and highlife music.  He has released three three albums, Safari, Mti Wa Maisha and Rocket Express II: African Renaissance Blues.  Adam Solomon is also a member of the Juno award-winning super group African Guitar Summit.

Event:    Jewel Ackah / Adam Solomon's African Blues & Jazz Trio
Date:     Thursday, August 29
Venue:   Lula Lounge (1585 Dundas St. West. Toronto)
               Dinner reservations guarantee seating  (416) 588-0307
Time:     Doors 7:00 pm  /  Show 8:30 pm
Tickets: $10 advance online at  /  $15 door

No comments:

Post a Comment