Bortier Okoe – Dzeng Sane Album launch, supported by Dada Nii and the Damushi Ensemble

Bortier Okoe

Following the recent huge successful launch and tour of Bortier Okoe’s CD in Ghana, he now has the pleasure of launching Dzeng Sane in Australia at Nexus Arts on Saturday May 7.

The new album, which is available via iTunes, features numerous traditional instruments including hand drums, stick drums, balafone, the kora, and percussion instruments. Creating a new musical force, Bortier shares messages of hope, peace, resilience and tolerance, through irresistible music which blends traditional West African instruments with guitar, horns, and vocals.

Dzeng Sane means ‘world matters’ and each track on the CD expresses different elements related to issues in the world, ranging from Culture, which reminds us – Don’t forget your culture, your culture is your life – while the title song Dzeng Sane, is about materialism and the negative effects it can have.

Born in Ghana, West Africa, Bortier was a child prodigy who spent much of his childhood travelling Ghana with his family in their music and dance performance group, Nyomor Baatsor, and it’s not surprising to learn that he was recognised by the Ghanaian government as a master drummer and cultural ambassador when he was only seventeen years old.Engaging audiences from across all age groups, inspiring the youth, receiving attention from radio stations across Accra, and considered an important musician and messenger in his home country, Bortier’s music features intense, intricate poly-rhythms through to slow, passionate grooves. His performances are exhilarating, high energy and bring joy to all who come to bear witness! Don’t miss out on this special performance!

Dada Nii & The Damushi Ensemble

Dada Nii Okwabi has been a musician since the age of eight. He is a professional drummer, singer, dancer and teacher and is well known in his native country of Ghana, West Africa and his new home, Australia.

During his career Dada Nii has worked with the Mantse Mei Cultural Group and some of Ghana’s top musicians including Okyrema Asante, Pat Thomas and the late John K. In 1978 he joined Ebaahi Sounds as their lead singer and recorded five albums with the group over twelve years. During this time he performed with Fleetwood Mac in the 1981 film The Visitor. In 1985 Dada Nii worked with the internationally acclaimed group Wulomei and continues to perform with them as a guest artist when he is in Ghana.

In 2000 he joined Nii Tettey Tetteh and his Kusun Ensemble as a singer, drummer, dancer and instructor. During his time with Kusun he performed at local events and conducted drumming and singing workshops for overseas students at Kusun’s month-long residential workshops in Accra, Ghana’s capital.

From 2000 to 2002 he worked in the UK with the London-based groups Abladei UK, Kakatsitsi and Agido, performing at festivals around the UK and conducting workshops in schools. He also performed with the well-known Congolese singer Koffi Olomide at the Brixton Academy. He returned to Ghana late in 2002 and formed The Damushi Ensemble, a group of professional musicians and dancers who perform traditional and contemporary Ghanaian music.

Dada Nii has taught drumming and dancing to hundreds of children and adults through workshops in schools, kindergartens and community groups. He has also run workshops for new migrants, disadvantaged students, students with special needs and young offenders in residential care. He is an accredited performer in Carclews Playful program for schools and in 2006 he conducted a childrens drumming workshop for Carclew at Womadelaide.