A Jingle from Ghana’s Famine of ’77

An old Mampruli jingle is a reminder of the famine that plagued northern Ghana in the late 70s and the corruption that exacerbated its horrific effects.

Great West African Music from 2017

Americans have this bad habit of lumping all non-English music into this one big genre called “World Music.” This year (as is the case every year), if you glance at “2017 Best World Music” lists, you’ll see that… Read More

Uganda’s Adungu Harp

I was recently visiting churches in the refugee camps of northwestern Uganda and came across these wonderful instruments. Called an adungu (or ekidongo or ennenga in other languages) it is a sort of arched harp. When arriving at one… Read More

Traditional Mamprusi Hunting Songs

Zɔkri of Nalerigu, Ghana is a soothsayer but also plays a two-stringed banjo and flute that his late father passed down to him. The guitar is made of goat skin over a gourd with the strings being rubber… Read More

The Soothsayer’s Flute

I was just looking for a flute when I entered the man’s courtyard and couldn’t have anticipated

Kusaal Songs at a Courtyard Pounding

I’ve been working on a video project about the courtyard poundings the women in our community do together. Here are two songs one awesome lady sang yesterday at the one I attended. They are in Kusaal but a… Read More

Dancing at a Funeral

Thanks to a babysitter, Heidi and I were able to attend a friend’s father-in-law’s funeral together last week. Their family lives in the center of town and are a big part of this tight-knit community. The funeral wasn’t… Read More