Concert for Osibisa’s Teddy Osei at 80

Music of Thursday, 10 December 2015


Teddy Osei OsibisaTeddy Osei of Osibisa fame

Saxophonist, flutist, percussionist and vocalist, Teddy Osei of Osibisa fame turns 80 on Thursday, December 17, and there will be a concert in his honour at the +233 Jazz Bar and Grill in Accra on the night.

Several artistes have been slated to perform at the bash. They include Ebo Taylor, Paulina Oduro, Ben Brako, Elivava, AB Crentsil, Gyedu Blay Ambolley, Kwame Yeboah, Nana Yaa, Pat Thomas and more They will all be backed by Bessa Simons and his Bessa Band.

Teddy Osei has been well-known around the world since 1969 as the leader of the Osibisa Afro-rock band which got massive recognition with the release of its self-titled album in April 1971. It was a Top 10 hit in Britain, climbed high into the American charts and also made the charts in over a dozen other countries.

That debut album was followed over the years with other equally impressive collections like Woyaya, Heads, Superfly TNT, Happy Children, Osibirock, Welcome Home, Ojah Awake, Live at the Marquee, Monsore and Osee Yiee.

The Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) plans to honour Teddy Osei with a citation at the concert where a short documentary film on the veteran musician, made by Richard Prempeh, will also be shown. Copies of Osibisa albums would be on sale at the venue.

Born in Kumasi, Teddy went to live in England in 1962 where he led a couple of bands and later won a scholarship to study at the London School of Music.

Osibisa was formed together with his late brother, trumpeter Mac Tontoh, drummer Sol Amarfio and other musicians from Nigeria and the Carribbean.

The band’s line-up changed from time to time though the three Ghanaian founding members were always there to add bite to the group’s vibrant sound.

“An Osibisa concert was like no other. We never liked to have an audience just sit back and watch us perform. Instead, we got the crowd involved in the music and we invited audiences to bring whistles, rattles, tambourines and the like to our concerts.

“What we were accepted for worldwide has its roots from here and we talked positively about Ghana everywhere we went,” Teddy Osei said in an interview sometime ago.

He urged Osibisa fans and general lovers of good music to be at +233 for a good time from 7.00pm on December 17, “because it will be something to remember for a while.”