Art & CultureEditors ChoiceMusic

The story of highlife and Afrobeat legend Ebo Taylor

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Confusion surrounds the exact chronology of Ebo Taylor’s lengthy career, and over the years he too has been flexible with dates and events. A lot of water has, after all, passed under the bridge. There are some certainties, however. Taylor was born in 1936 on Ghana’s Cape Coast, where he still lives, in Saltpond City. Around 90 road-miles west of Accra, Cape Coast is home to a string of fishing villages where traditional Ghanaian music continues to be part of daily life and where Taylor grew up listening to the roots highlife that has always been at the heart of his style.

Tayor came of age during the golden years of highlife, an era dominated by the pioneering saxophonist and trumpeter ET Mensah and his band The Tempos. After leaving college, Taylor joined the Stargazers, a highlife band led by saxophonist Teddy Osei and drummer Sol Amarfio, who were among the founding members of the hugely successful British-based Afro-rock band, Osibisa. When Osei and Amarfio broke up the Stargazers to form the Comets, Taylor played with, and arranged for, a succession of highlife bands on the Cape Coast and in Accra.

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*The views of the above article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Africa Speaks 4 Africa or its editorial team.

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