OSIBISA – Legendary Afro Fusion Pioneers
British pioneers of Afro-jazz and godfathers of world music, Osibisa are renowned for delivering their trademark high octane, feel good, dance until you drop, set all over the world, packing in audiences at venues and festivals. Osibisa, founded in 1969, effortlessly fuse jazz, roots, pop, funk, R&B with Latin and African rhythms. This legendary band have made 20 studio albums and collaborated with many other artists, including Stevie Wonder, Mick Jagger and Uriah Heap.
Formed in London by three Ghanaian and three Caribbean musicians, Osibisa played a central role in developing an awareness of African music among European and North American audiences in the 1970's. The Ghanaian founder members of Osibisa - Teddy Osei (saxophone), Sol Amarfio (drums), Mac Tontoh (trumpet) - were seasoned members (previously The Comets) of the Accra highlife and the Afro-beat scene before moving to London and expanding their territory to the world stage.
The other founder members of Osibisa were Spartacus R (bass), Robert Bailey (keyboards), Wendell Richardson (lead guitar), Lasisi Amao (percussion & tenor sax) and were soon to be joined by the legendary Emmanuel Rentzos on keyboards. The venture proved to be an immediate success, with the single 'Music for Gong Gong' a substantial hit in 1970, followed by four other singles which made the UK Top 10: 'Sunshine Day', 'Dance the Body Music', 'Coffee Song' and 'Woyaya'.
Osibisa continued to expand and tour throughout the seventies, eighties and nineties, arguably driving the development of the “world music genre” ahead of the critics and music writers of the time. 2001 saw the release of ‘The Very Best of Osibisa’ compilation, then in 2009 their first studio album in over ten years - the critically acclaimed album 'Osee Yee', which also coincided with a welcome re-issue of their back catalogue. 2012 saw the release of ‘Osibisa Live In London’, a DVD celebrating the band at their stunning best, recorded live at the iconic Marquee in London and released to commemorate the venues' 25th anniversary.
Long standing current members include Gregg Kofi Brown - world class vocalist and guitarist who has recorded with the likes of Youssou N’Dour and Chaka Demus and Pliers; Kari Bannerman - Ghana’s most renowned and versatile guitarist; top international trumpet player - Colin Graham; music lover Victor Mensah; Frititi founder, master drummer, dancer and musician Nii Okai Tagoe; with the powerful rhythm section of Emmanuel Afram on bass and Alex K. Boateng on kit - one of the best world music drummers who’s unique style stands out wherever he plays.
Having performed at the 2010 World Cup opening ceremony in South Africa amongst other prestigious gigs, Osibisa continue to be in demand the world over.
2013 performance highlights include Chennai and Bangalore in India, Morrocco, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, and Hungary as well as appearing at WOMAD, headlining the Lambeth County Fair plus two sold out shows as part of the 11th London African Music Festival.
OSIBISA, criss-cross rhythms that explode with happiness!