Category Archives: Inspiration

Ghana

Ghana is a song that was written by musician and composer Dorothy Masuka to celebrate the wave of independence that spread across Africa in the 60s lead by Nkrumah in Ghana.

Kwame Nkrumah was a visionary leader who came to power in Ghana in 1957 after the British left. His belief in Pan African independence as well as the indepence of Ghana meant that he gave hope and inspiration to other nations striving to escape colonial rule. He was put in prison for campaigning and organising for equal rights for all. While he was still in prison in 1951, his party was elected by a landslide, a year later he became Prime Minister and in 1957 he lead Ghana to independence.

During his leadership he set up free education, free health-care, hospitals were built, as was the infrastructure for the industrialisation of Ghana. Get more info on wikipedia and also see interview with Gamal Nkrumah (Nkrumah’s son) talking about his father and Ghanain independence.

Find out more about Dorothy Masuka’s life and music and listen to Ghana on last.fm

The song also features on: Kershaw, Andy More Great Moments in Vinyl History
More Great Moments in Vinyl History

and makes the Guardian “Readers recommend: the A-Z of all songs ever listed

About the band

Banda Bacana play groove and rhythm driven tunes from South America, the Caribbean and Africa. Our influences are diverse but we are all into world music and watching and playing live music especially dance music.

People

Nigerian born vocalist Loulou leads the vocals with Ceri, who mixes strong samba influences with a musical background of celtic folk, and guitarist Kate, another samba baby, who plays guitar with percussion roots. Drum kit player Owen, AKA Groove Farmer, creates a fertile blend of unstoppable beats: Record shop owner, promoter and wealth of musical knowledge influences from Blues to Rock Steady, High-life to Klesma. Founder member John, the daddy of Bacana, cuts solid bass lines; latin, afro-beat, reggae and ska: Another gold mine of information about all things funky from around the world and beyond …

Most of us have got day jobs but we are lucky enough to have Jochen as a regular player who is a jazz musician and composer. We’ve also had younger members, Chris and Kate, who have come from the North Wales Youth Jazz Band. Chris left us to study classical music in London and Kate went a year later to study Jazz at Leeds. They come and play with us sometimes in the holidays and its really cool to hear them play again. Einion and Ray both local jazz players from North Wales play with us occasionally. The line up is pretty flexible with Jeff joining us from the North Sea when they let him out for good behaviour, and when Neil does the PA he’ll also dust off his trumpet, a real treat!

Tunes

The band plays groove based music from a variety of cultures. It can take in funky Afrobeat, or Latin American influences, with the emphasis on getting up, dancing & having fun.

Latin music is kind of like jazz in that there are standard tunes. When we are getting a tune together we would pick up the groove from a record and a chorus line and a sax riff and then play around with it. The rhythm sections would be working getting a solid groove going while the horns and vocals would pull a song stucture together. We try and go for what feels natural for us … less risky!

Si se puede is one of the favourite tunes. Its a tune by a New York afro beat band Antibalas. When the different parts lock together rhythmically, the groove is hypnotic but really swings at the same time. Our audience really go for the ska ones like pipeline. People like something familiar they can key into, especially when they’re out for a dance, and ska tunes are a real strong influence on north wales bands.