Ellis ‘Salaam’ Lamptey and Cultural Imani: Ga cultural group

Singer/guitarist Ellis “Salaam” was born in Accra in 1955 and got his ftrst musical training in Ga cultural groups like Cultural Voodoo and Sammy Brown’s Agbafoi, which combined traditional Ga instruments with West African finger-picking guitar. Salaam then moved on to play withE.T. Mensah’s famous Tempos highlife dance band and other dance bands such as The Barristers and El Beats. In 1980 he formed the Cultural Imani acoustic group that consisted of guitar, gome bass drum and percussion. In August 1981 the band recorded at Bokoor Studio and some of the songs were released on the’ Guitar and Gun’ compilation highlife album by Cherry Red Records of the UK (re-released on CD in 2003 by Stems African  Records of London). In the 1990s Salaam teamed up with his manager, Kobena Andah, and expanded the Cultural Imani band to include bass guitar and horns. In 1992 the group recorded the ‘Djenba’ (the Ga word for character) at the Accra studio of Nana Danso (Director of the Pan African Orchestra), which was fmanced by the German Development Agency. Salaam’s group is currently working on its second release entitled ‘Weku Shia’ (Family House).

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