Yacub Addy's ODADAA!
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Yacub Addy's ODADAA!

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Music

Press


"Yacub Addy and Odadaa!"

"irresistable, hypnotically charged, earthy and stately... Odadaa! is a treasure."
- The New York Times

"... a glimpse into a living world in which music - drumming particularly - is the lifeblood of the community ... Though many of their compositions are original, Odadaa! base everything they do on the traditions of which they are inheritors. It's the power of the past extending itself into the present and the future. An evening spent with Odadaa! will echo within for many months after the event is past."
- Eric Goldman, Rhythm Magazine

"One of the great virtues of this group is its ability to re-create the feeling of traditional festival in theatrical spaces. While thoroughly professional, the group retains a feeling of casual spontaneity. The performers are internally focused....The emphasis is on emotional and kinetic response....it is easy to forget that what they are doing is highly virtuosic."
- Suzanne Levy, The Washington Post

"Odadaa! is a treasurehouse of Ghanaian culture that not only performs traditional music and dance but continually invents new forms rooted in tradition. This group of artists, led by master drummer Yacub Addy, has been living in our midst for more than 25 years, constantly enriching the cultural life of the U.S."
- Robert Browning, Executive & Artistic Director, World Music Institute, NYC

"Yacub is obviously a great master and teacher. The singers and dancers were fabulous and the drumming was great. It was a variety of music too ... congratulations to Odadaa! for a wonderful evening."
- Bill Cahn, NEXUS, Eastman School of Music

"Odadaa! deserves the exclamation point."
- Harriet McLeod, The Richmond News Leader - assorted


"Congo Square: Wynton Marsalis & Yacub Addy"

"From start to finish, an amazingly beautiful musical experience."
- New Orleans Times-Picayune

"...a sense of uplift and release"
- The New York Times

"Jubilant, swinging... a festival unto itself"
- Washington Post

"It was simply beautifull...one of the most dynamic pieces of music I've ever heard."
- Rochester City News

"All in all, this is the show of the '07 fest that people will long be talking about, either because they were there, or they missed it."
- Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

"a bristling, brilliant dialogue between two epochs of black musical culture. The effect was stunning."
- Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune

"...the night took the air of encouraging triumph over adversities..."
- Philadelphia Inquirer

"Amazing. Incredible. Awesome. I've run out of adjectives."
- Grand Rapids Press

"pure music of jubilee"
- Detroit News

"charismatic performance, brilliant, precise and beautiful, its presentation was visually striking."
- Times Argus, Montreal


"Congo Square is a truly significant work," says AMFS (Aspen Music Festival and School) president and CEO Alan Fletcher. "Combining the quintessentially American sound of jazz and the masterful drumwork of West Africa, it is a profound blend of cultures and traditions; it shows how different art forms can complement and enrich each other. Yacub and Wynton's uniquely powerful composition shows how jazz, classical and world music can seamlessly combine in a contemporary creation that points to the future."
- Aspen Post

"Yacub is a genius. A man with great depth of feeling. It is one of the highlights of my life to know him and his wife Amina and work with Odadaa!."
- Wynton Marsalis ("Congo Square" CD liner notes)
- assorted


Discography

CDs:

"Cashew Blue" upcoming spring 2011. Previews on Audio page.
(Tetteh Aku Music)

"Yacub Addy's Odadaa! - Children of the Ancients"
(Aku Music)

"Congo Square"
(Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Composed by Yacub Addy & Wynton Marsalis. Featured Yacub Addy with Odadaa! & Wynton Marsalis with LCJO.)

DVD:

"Congo Square"
(Shanachie Records [US],
Emarcy Records [international].
Live at 07 Montreal Jazz Festival.)

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Yacub Addy's Odadaa!

Respected African drum master, composer and choregrapher Yacub Addy and his acclaimed ensemble Odadaa! bring to the stage the traditional artistry and essence of the Ga people of Accra, Ghana. Their virtuosic command of the wholeness of the culture is conveyed with a casual spontaneity that's irresistible. Named for an annual celebration in Accra, Odadaa! signals "Let the music begin!".

Called "a treasure" by the New York Times, Odadaa! presents classics and vibrant new works created by Addy and ensemble members that combine hot African polyrhythmic drumming with guitar, bamboo flutes, bass, balafons (wooden xylophones) and rich vocals in African languages and English. Ensemble can also include Ghanaian dancers whose artistry is both dynamic and subtle.

Currently the senior drummer in the renowned Addy family of drummers, singers and dancers from Accra, Ghana, Yacub Addy is a hip elder who bucked the status quo to play and live his lush traditional culture at a time his country had turned its back on heritage. Addy's music took him from Ghana to Europe and America, where he created Odadaa!, composed of artists of his own Ga ethnic group and one American vocalist. Today Odadaa! keeps alive in America traditional forms that are dying out in Ghana.

In 2010 Yacub Addy received America's highest honor for traditional and folk artists, a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Odadaa! participated in Addy's ground-breaking co-composition with jazz great Wynton Marsalis. The 2+ hour piece that combines Ghanaian rhythms and songs with jazz forms premiered in historic Congo Square in New Orleans nine months after Katrina, toured in three seasons, resulted in exceptional CD and DVD releases, and was featured in several television documentaries.

With Odadaa!, Yacub Addy also collaborated with kora master Foday Musa Suso, saxist and flutist T.K. Blue, and marimbist Stefon Harris, performing concerts of new works with each.

Yacub Addy is currently a member of the faculty of the Music Department at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY.

"Yacub is a genius. A man with great depth of feeling. It is one of the highlights of my life to know him and his wife Amina and work with Odadaa!."
- Wynton Marsalis ("Congo Square" CD liner notes)

"Odadaa! is a treasurehouse of Ghanaian culture that not only performs traditional music and dance but continually invents new forms rooted in tradition. This group of artists, led by master drummer Yacub Addy, has been living in our midst for more than 25 years, constantly enriching the cultural life of the U.S."
- Robert Browning, Executive & Artistic Director, World Music Institute, NYC

NOTE:
Latest video demos at http://www.yacubaddy.com.odadaa.html. Click on "Odadaa!" highlighted in red at the bottom of this page.

Yacub Addy's recordings include:
- "Kpanlogo Party" with Oboade (Lyrichord Records, 1973)
- "Blema Bii - Children of the Ancients" (Makossa Records, 1982)
With Odadaa!:
- "Children of the Ancients" (Aku Music, 1999)
- "Congo Square" 2-CD set (Jazz at Lincoln Center, NYC, 2008)
- "Congo Square" DVD (Live at the 07 Montreal Jazz Festival, Shanachie Records [US])
- "Congo Square" DVD (Live at the 07 Montreal Jazz Festival, Emarcy Records [international], 2008)

A selection of Odadaa!'s appearances include:
-The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, DC
-Montreal Jazz Festival, QE
-New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, LA
-Symphony Space, NYC (for the World Music Institute)
-Jazz at Lincoln Center, NYC
-Strand Theater, Boston, MA
-Brooklyn Academy of Music, NYC
-Smithsonian Institution, DC
-America's Reunion on the Mall (President Bill Clinton's Inauguration), DC
-Houston International Festival, TX
-Ravinia Festival, Highland Park, IL
-Jazz Aspen Snowmass, Aspen, CO
-Gerald Ford Amphitheater, Vail, CO
-Toyohashi Black Culture Festival, Japan
-Newark Symphony Hall, NJ
-Troy Music Hall, NY
-New York State Theater at The Egg, Albany
-Carver Cultural Center, San Antonio, TX
-Clarise Smith Performing Arts Center, U of Maryland, College Park
-Darmouth College, Hanover, NH
-Columbia College, Chicago, IL
-Alverno Collee, Milwaukee, WI
-Flynn Theater, Burlington, VT
-Colden Center for the Performing Arts
-Queens College, NY
-Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY
-Cal Tech, Pasadena, CA
-Tuskegee Institute, AL
-Spellman College, Atlanta, GA
-Hamilton College, Utica, NY
-Canadian Folklore Festival, ON & QE
-Festival of Folklore, San Juan, Puerto Rico
-British-American Festival, Durham, NC
-Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, West Palm Beach, FL
-Memorial Hall, U of NC, Chapel Hill
-Chrysler Hall, Norfolk, VA
-Rochester International Jazz Festival, NY
-Mann Center for the Performing Arts, Philadelphia, PA
-Mountain Laurel Center for the Performing Arts, Bushkill, PA
-Allen Theater, Cleveland, OH
-Milwaukee Theater, Milwaukee, WI
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