Rex Omar and Amandzeba Nat Brew

Rex Omar  and Amandzeba Nat Brew belong to a younger generation
of highlife musicians, who utilize indigenous resources to create
highlife music, using state-of-art techniques.
Rex, Nat and Akosua Agyepong are the founding members of the NAKOREX band of the 1990s.
Rex had a big hit with his risque highlife song ‘Abiba’ (y.f adonkotuo Ye Me
De – Abiba’s Gyrations Are Sweet to Me). He has been on many international
tours, has had numerous collaborations with international artists and recently collected a Kora award in southafrica.
Amandzeba Nat Brew has also gone solo and has had a nyumber of recent
successful releases that are based on indigenous Ga ‘Kpanlogo’ and ‘La
Kpa’ rhythms like his ‘Kpanlogo Ye De’ and ‘Demara’ COs. These albums
have been popular in Ghana, Togo and Benin, where Amandzeba has
The third member of NAKOREX, Akosua, also has her own solo singing
career, and is married to Nat Brew

John Collins

John Collins came to Ghana in 1952 and since 1969 has been involved in
the Ghanaian music scene as musician, bandleader, recording engineer, producer,
journalist and writer. He is a founding member ofBAPMAF (formed
in 1990) and is currently Head of the Music Department of the University
of Ghana-Legon. He is also a consultant for several music unions in Ghana
(including MUSIGA) and eo-leader ofthe Local Dimension acoustic highlife
band. John Collins supplied the Ghana entries/biographies and photos for
this brochure.

Hewale Sounds

Hewale Sounds is a neo-traditional group, formed by Dela Botri in 1996,
and originally based at Professor J.H.K. Nketia’s International Centre for
African Music and Dance (ICAMD) at the School of Performing Arts,
University of Ghana. The instruments of the 12-person ensemble include
antenteben bamboo flutes, the Akan seprewa harp-lute, the goje one-stringed
Dagbani fiddle, two northern xylophones, the giant Ga gome frame-drum
and assorted local percussion instruments. The group also includes two
female singers/dancers.
The repertoire of Hewale Sounds consists of Ghanaian and other African
traditional music, their own compositions, and some contemporary music,
including their own rendition of high life, Afrobeat, Afrorock and American
jazz songs. The group has played extensively in Ghana and has toured in the
United States, Europe, West Africa and South Africa. In 2004 they played
alongside Stevie Wonder at the International Conference Centre in Accra.


Intertwined with enigmatic sounds, the rhythms and movements draw a certain potency in dance that stimulates the viewer. The historical background of the Jera Dance is obscure, deep and mysterious. The origin traces back to the days of hunting expeditions (of the Kparibas in Dagbon) where one particular hunter called Nanja’s remedy to a confrontation in the forest by an ill omen (a group of dwarfs) will set the mystic movements. The beautiful dance of Jera emanated to be performed as a ritual when returning from hunting trips to drive away evil, and later after midnights at the funerals of chiefs and elders. It is believed that on these occasions the mystical drums could sound without a drummer.
However, it is important to note that today, the Jera dance is decontextualized from its embedded African traditional antics and religious significance. It is performed at a myriad of social events and at all times of the day. Its performance illustrates the original connotations and it is able to connect the contemporary participants to their rich heritage from the anchorage of the dance to the ground to the spiritual amulets worn by the dancers.
As with most dances in Northern Ghana, the body of the dancers is ornamentally decorated with a waist belt called “yebsa” made with strands of cowries, metallic anklets and castanets. The dynamics of body movements in the Jera dance is vigorous with steady upper bodies, thrusting hips and tactical maneuvers of the legs with the tilting of the dancers altogether anticlockwise to the sound of the gun-gong and a handful of talking drummers.
The ornaments make synchronized sounds with the moving bodies adding another sonic dimension to the dance environment amidst the songs sang along.






Tora is among the oldest of the Dagomba drum stories. There came a time when a chief died having produced no sons, and they were forced to make a woman Yaa-naa. Another man who wanted the chieftaincy scared her out of the palace one night, forcing them to choose a new chief, and in accordance with his plan they chose him. The story of Tora is about the tragedy and misfortune that befell the man who violated tradition by scaring the Yaa-naa out of the palace to get the chieftaincy for himself.