Doors at 8:30 pm; Show at 9:00 pm
Tickets are $15 Day of Show / $12 Student
African Highlife dance classics are the heart and soul of concerts by the West African Highlife Band. Launched by Kotoja’s Babá Ken Okulolo, the West African Highlife Band was born from a request by the late founder of Ashkenaz, David Nadel, for a band to concentrate on Ghanaian and West African highlife dance music and rhythmic styles. With master musicians from several West African countries and the United States, the band draws on folk traditions combined with modern stylistic elements, played with acoustic and electric instruments, and revives classic highlife dance hits of Ghana and Nigeria. The group has been a favorite ever since, not just at Ashkenaz or in the Bay Area, but wherever it travels with its infectiously uplifting and upbeat music.
Okulolo first came to the U.S. as part of King Sunny Ade’s band, and he was also the bassist in Nigeria’s seminal Afro-rock group Monomono. Since moving to Oakland in 1985, he has created a stable of African bands including Kotoja and the Nigerian Brothers. Along with Okulolo, the West African Highlife Band features Soji Odukogbe (lead guitarist in Fela Kuti’s Egypt 80 band), keyboardist and singer Pope Flyne (lead singer of Ghana’s Sweet Talks), Rasaki Aladokun on congas and talking drum, and trap drummer Jerome Leonard.