Okaidja Afroso: 'Jaku Mumor - Ancestral Spirit'World Music / Afro-Jazz

- Bucknell University

Commissioned by Duke University with Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Stanford Live, Stanford University.


Born into a family of musicians and storytellers in Kokrobite on the west coast of Ghana, Okaidja Afroso is a singer, guitarist, percussionist and dancer deeply connected to the musical traditions of the African Diaspora and devoted to bringing together diverse modes of expression in pursuit of global harmony. His five albums, most recently Jaku Mumor, chart a journey from his past as a vocalist, percussionist and dancer with the Ghana Dance Ensemble and Obo Addy through to the present, as a confident and mature songwriter and collaborator.

Afroso ushers in a fresh breeze of musical flavors from the shores of Ghana’s Atlantic Gulf of Guinea, drawing from the ecological knowledge of the indigenous Ga-Dangme fishermen — the power of the nature-based rituals and the connections that his ancestors had to the elements, particularly the ocean. With his new project “Jaku Mumor”his distinctive musical style extends ancestral traditions and creates a contemporary African oral tradition, combining percussion, guitar, dance and native language vocals. His artistry is grounded in traditional dance and rhythms with modern harmonies and updated lyrics. “Jaku Mumor” dives deeper into Afroso’s cultural roots by collaborating directly with the fishermen to share the full artistry of their cappella singing and chants that awaken the spirit of the human soul.