Meet the mega cultural group with super sounds  


At full strength, it is a 35-member ensemble, including 15 female performers. Each one of them plays at least a drum or two and may be an expert in several local, national, and West African cultural dances. Formed on November 11, 2006, by the late Badu Odartey Evans, and by Lawrence Quaye in Accra, the Amamere Folk Music “N” Dance Ensemble not only performs for revelers, but also organizes workshops and occasionally visits some second-cycle institutions to teach and promote the diverse cultural heritage of select Africa countries. In addition, it embarks on exchange programs with other non-Ghanaian cultural ensembles.

All the 30 or so drums utilized in the ensemble were built by the lead and master drummer Samuel Kujo from scratch with the help of other drummers. Kujo is also adept at the history of drumming, drum making, and various traditional dances. “Fontomfrom is mostly associated with Akyem, Akuapem, Akwamu, and Bono in the Akan kingdom of Ghana. It’s originally called Bomaa in Akyem,” he tells this writer with pride and sense of purpose. The group has choreographed its own fontomfrom, which it uses as its signature tune in a performance. He points out that fontomfrom is played with the flat end of the curved drumsticks, rather than the pointed end, to emit guttural sounds. “The Kete dance, for example is performed by both males and females, and Adowa is accompanied by songs while Kete does not,” he explains. Kujo says various animal skins are used to cover the surfaces of drums to emit particular sounds.

On August 27, the Amamere Folk Music “N” Dance Ensemble performed at the Holy Spirit Cathedral in Accra to climax its Youth Appreciation Month with a marathon showcase of mostly Ghanaian and select West African cultures; and it did not disappoint.

According to the Vice Chairperson of the Parish Youth Council (PYC) Theodora Yebuah, the month-long celebrations were to promote and keep alive the cultural heritage of the various ethnicity in the church.

The show opened with a booming fontomfrom repertoire that featured three men and three women on the 4.5-foot fontomfrom drums, and the lead and master drummer on atumpan talking drums. The vibrations of the fontomfrom drums could be felt inside the human body. Other cultural drumming such as the Takai from Dagomba, Agbadza from Anlo, Adzogba (originally from Benin but prominent in Ghana’s Ewe kingdom), Apatampa from Fante, and others were accompanied with their traditional dances.

The Amamere Ensemble has won several national and international awards that include: MUSIGA Ghana Music Honor – Best Traditional Dance Group, 2015; Best Entertaining Group Award at Ankara International Folk Festival, Turkey, 2017; Best Performing Group at Parzardjik Festival, Bulgaria, 2017; Ghana Traditional Performing Act Winner in Ghana Music Award, UK, 2019; and Best Performing Group at the International Festival, Osaka, Japan, 2019, among others. It has also performed and/or represented Ghana in South Africa, Italy, Finland, Georgia, and Canada and had performed virtually at the Festival Internacional De Folclore Do Brasil, 2022.  

For engagements in Ghana, contact Daniel @ +233552595894.

For international engagements contact Okyerema Asante @ +1 571 224 3373

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Posted by on Sep 13 2023. Filed under top stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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