Hewale Sounds Charms Egyptian Audience

Dela Botri, leader Hewale SoundsHewale Sounds, the neo-traditional group which received rave reviews during a tour of a number of West African countries in the latter part of 2008 mesmerised a group of Egyptians with magnetic concerts in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

Performing at the El-Sawy Cultural Centre and the Placeboat, a five star entertainment centre in Cairo, the group surprised cheering audiences with a dramatic blend of traditional Ghanaian rhythms with their contemporary extensions.             

With an array of atenteben flutes alongside Ga Gome and Kpanlogo drums, gonje, xylophones, bells and shakers, Hewale Sounds showcased the beauty and variety of Ghanaian rhythms as tune after tune received wild cheers and applause.

As the night wore on, the group, led by flute magician Dela Botri, managed to sustain an effective communication with their audience, leading to some of them rushing to the dance floor – a move not so common at the El-Sawy Cultural Centre.

The crowd at the Placeboat which included South African diva, Yvonne Chaka Chaka simply expressed their appreciation for the group with a request for more tunes as they remained on the floor for another round of dancing.

Hewale Sounds was later interviewed and performed for a wider audience on Nile FM, one of the famous radio stations in Cairo. Botri, who has been a resource person at music workshops in Europe, explained his brand of music and the need to preserve traditional music.

With two albums to its credit, the group has performed for highly enthusiastic audiences in Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Mauritania, Guinea, Jordan, Norway and the United States. In Ghana the group has charmed audiences at Alliance Francaise, Goethe Institut and residences of the France, German and United States ambassadors to Ghana.

Formerly a resident group at the International Centre for African Music and Dance, and the School of Performing Arts at the University of Ghana, Hewale Sounds is currently based at the W.E.B. Du Bois Memorial Centre in Accra.

It has performed alongside international artistes and ethnomusicologists such as Stevie Wonder, Sharon Katz (Peace Train), Egya Koo Nimo, Nana Danso Abiam, Rocky Dawuni, Amandzeba Nat Brew, Prof. John Collins, Dr. Willie Anku, Prof. Kwabena Nketia, Habib Koite, Dr. Kwasi Ampene and others.

The tour of Egypt was made possible by kind courtesy of El-Sewedy Cables, an Egyptian company with a branch in Ghana, in collaboration with the Embassy of Ghana in Cairo, Egypt.