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Guy Warren


  • Born Kofi Ghanaba, 4 May 1923, Accra, Ghana
  • Died 22 December 2008, Accra, Ghana

Africe Speaks, America AnswersThe only authentic African artist in the jungle exotica genre, Warren invented Afro-jazz decades before it had a name. He began his career was a drummer in the Acro Rhythmic Orchestra. He moved to London briefly after World War II, then returned to work with the emerging nationalist movement under Kwame Nkrumah. He worked as a disc jockey in Liberia, then moved to the U.S. in 1953. He settled in Chicago and worked on the fringes of the jazz business, appearing mostly unbilled in small combos, but occasionally playing with major names like Thelonious Monk. When the exotica craze hit, he was hired by Decca to record African Rhythms. Ultimately, though, he was frustrated in his attempts to gain an audience, and he returned to Ghana in 1965. Even in Africa, he was ahead of his time, and he spent much of his time in reclusion, studying Buddhism and teaching a small group of native and visiting musicians. A remarkable artist still awaiting his full dues.


Recordings

  • Africa Speaks, America Answers, Decca DL-8446 (1957)
  • African Rhythms, Decca DLP 4243
  • Theme From African Drums, RCA Victor LSP-1864
  • African Sounds (1961)
  • Third Phase (1963)
  • Afro-Jazz (1963)


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