American singer-songwriter, Stevie Wonder and renowned South African trumpeter, Hugh Masekela have been named among top-notch musicians to headline Ghana’s Tribute to Osibisa which will be staged at the National Theatre on June 1.
The two will join several entertainers including renowned American record producer Quincy Jones to celebrate the remarkable achievements of the legendary Afro-pop group, Osibisa.
The show, the brain child of Teddy Osei, a founding member of the group, and Kofi Amoakohene of Scratch Studios, will highlight the decades of good music produced by a group that was formed in 1969 with four Ghanaian members and three Caribbean musicians.
Teddy Osei, who was also a saxophonist for the group, told Jamie Adjetey in an interview on Jazz & Soul on Joy FM that “We just want to make an event whereby African heroes really promoting and all those who are really associated with African music to come around… It is a whole variety of a show.”
Osibisa is credited with several well-known hits including Welcome Home, Dance The Body Music, Sunshine Day, I Fell Pata Pata, and The Coffee Song.
The group was known for performing with an “African personality” mixed with versatility and a high level of energy on stage, something Teddy said was unique about them adding, “we actually injected some life into live music … it was always joy everywhere, everybody jumping around just having a nice time, it was so precious to us.”
“We’ve enjoyed touring the world; we’ve enjoyed making people happy,” he indicated.
Apart from Teddy Osei, other members of the band during the prolific years included Colin Graham (on trumpet), Kofi Ayivor and Nii Tagoe (on Percussion and Congas), Sol Amarfio and KB (on drums), Bessa Simons, Kwame Yeboah, Chris Jerome and Emmmanuel Rentzos (on keyboard), and Kari Bannerman, Gregg Kofi Brown, Wendell Richardson (on guitars).
The rest are Spartacus R, Victor Mensah and Herman Asafo Bass (on guitar), Gregg Kofi Brown, Teddy Osei, Emmanuel Rentzos, Wendell Richardson were on vocals. Mick Tresnan (Mick Tee) was the Tour Manager for the group.
They will release a remix song Happy Children, “and it is going to be issued with the remix of the album itself,” which will be re-released on a later date together with a compilation album with syncos music, Teddy disclosed.
Osibisa, according to Teddy, will be re-mixing some of their works to be released from time to time. He said they have been billed to perform at several concerts in countries such as Greece, Serbia and Germany.
The group lost one of its founding members and trumpeter Mac Tontoh on Tuesday, August 17, 2010.Mac, brother of Teddy Osei, was widely known for being an energetic performer who helped hold the foundations of the group to be a successful one.