|Born||January 15, 1936
|Died||September 13, 2012
Portland, Oregon, U.S.
|Occupation(s)||Musician, dancer, professor|
Obo Addy (January 15, 1936 – September 13, 2012) was a Ghanaian drummer and dancer who was one of the first native African musicians to bring the fusion of traditional folk music and Western pop music known as worldbeat to Europe and then to the Pacific Northwest of the United States in the late 1970s. He taught music at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon.
Addy was born into the Ga ethnic group in Accra, the capital city of Ghana. He was one of the 55 children of Jacob Kpani Addy, a wonche or medicine man who integrated rhythmic music into healing and other rituals. Obo Addy's earliest musical influence was the traditional music of the Ga people, but he was also influenced as an adolescent by popular music from Europe and the United States, and performed in local bands that played Westernized music and the dance music of Ghana known as highlife.
Addy was employed by the Arts Council of Ghana in 1969, and played his native Ga traditional music in the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany. He moved to London, England, and began touring in Europe. In 1978, he moved to Portland, Oregon in the United States, where he taught at Lewis & Clark College. He also led weekly drumming workshops at Portland's Lincoln High School.
After a long battle with liver cancer, Addy died on September 13, 2012.
He founded the Homowo African Arts and Cultures organization, which sponsors the annual Homowo Festival of African Arts in Oregon. He was awarded a Master's Fellowship from the Oregon Arts Commission and Regional Arts & Culture Council, and the Oregon Governors Award for the Arts. In 1996, he became the first native African to win a National Heritage Fellowship Award from Federal government of the United States' National Endowment for the Arts.
- AfieyeOkropong (Alula Records)
- Wonche Bi (Alula Records)
- Let Me Play My Drums (Burnside Records)
- The Rhythm Of Which A Chief Walks Gracefully (Earthbeat Records)
- Okropong (Santrofi Records)
- Obo Addy at the Internet Movie Database
- "Obo Addy". The Oregon Encyclopedia.
- Obo Addy: Master Drummer home page
- "Addy vs. Addy". Zach Dundas. Willamette Week Online. February 26, 2003.
- Obo Addy page from Lewis & Clark College site
- Obo Addy page
- Article about Addy family
- Oregon Art Beat: Drummer Obo Addy