Closeup November 2, 2021
Echoes of Yaa Amponsah

"Yaa Amponsah" is a song from Africa's earliest guitar tradition, palmwine music. Dating to the late 19th or early 20th century, this style developed in port cities across the continent's western coast as Africans traveled to trade goods and music. Yaa Amponsah is also what Ghanaian musicians call a "rhythm"—a blueprint of harmonies, rhythms, and melodies that has informed thousands of songs from its first recording in 1928 through to contemporary music. In this Afropop Closeup, guitarist Nathaniel Braddock takes you inside his journey to dig into the rhythm's roots and influences through conversations with Koo Nimo, Akablay, Kofi Elektrik, and John Collins.

Akablay and Nathaniel Braddock.
Akablay and Nathaniel Braddock.

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