Monday, August 28, 2017

Kennedy School History Pub

The Legacy of Obo Addy and his impact in the Pacific Northwest

Kennedy School

6 p.m. doors, 7 p.m. event


All ages welcome

About The Legacy of Obo Addy and his impact in the Pacific Northwest

The Legacy of Obo Addy and his impact in the Pacific Northwest

Presented by: Susan and Alex Addy, McMenamins History, Oregon Historical Society and Holy Names Heritage Center, with a performance by Okropong

For decades, the musical traditions of Ghana were explored and extended by Ghana-born and Portland-based drummer, composer, and bandleader Obo Addy. Together with his world beat band, Kukrudu, and traditional quartet, Okropong, Addy was one of Ghana's greatest musical ambassadors. A recipient of the prestigious national Heritage Fellowship Award by the National Endowment for the Arts, Addy toured extensively through the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Australia creating cultural awareness and understanding through the presentation of African music, dance and culture.

Though he passed away in 2012, Addy's work carries on through the Obo Addy Legacy Project, which includes educational offerings, concerts and performing arts groups that tour the country. Their mission is to preserve and present African music, dance and culture, as well as create new work and collaborate in ways that will strengthen the community. Their overarching goal is to work forward from Obo Addy's vision and ideas and use this as the springboard to new work and new ideas.

The Obo Addy Legacy Project was formed in 1986 under the name "Homowo African Arts and Cultures." Based in Portland, they've produced an African Music and Art Festival for 15 years (the Homowo Festival for African Arts), award winning programs in schools for 28 years, and an African Arts Day Camp for 15 years. They have served over one million people with high quality performances and educational opportunities and are known for their deep commitment to school age children.

# Join us for a presentation on Obbo Addy's impact on the Pacific Northwest, including a performance by Okropong.

About the Speakers:
Susan Addy has worked with nonprofit organizations since 1973 when she helped to create the Hood River Valley Arts and Crafts Society. She founded the Columbia Art Gallery in Hood River at the same time. She coordinated the Artists in Education Program in the early 1980's for four years when it was based at the Contemporary Crafts Gallery and created the first multicultural arts program for Portland Public Schools. Susan has worked for Artquake, Young Audiences, Blue Lake Park Summer Concerts, Hillsboro Community Arts and the Oregon School of Arts and Crafts. She has been Executive Director of Obo Addy Legacy Project / Homowo African Arts and Cultures/ since its inception in 1986. Susan has served on peer panels for the Oregon Arts Commission, Regional Arts and Culture Council, Pennsylvania Arts Council Folk and Traditional Arts and Washington State Arts Commission.

Susan was the producer of the Homowo Festival of African Arts and held that role for 15 years beginning in 1990. In addition to overseeing the entire production, she played a key role in forming partnerships with both the Oregon Folklife Program and the Arts for New Immigrants Program at IRCO, in order to support traditional artists who were newly arrived in Portland. She also managed her husband Obo Addy's career and played a key role in the manufacture, distribution and promotion of his recordings.

Alex Addy comes from Ghana, West Africa. Much of his youth was spent in Ghana where he was involved in drumming performances at his church before moving to Portland, Oregon when he is 15. Since he joined Homowo African Arts & Cultures/Obo Addy Legacy Project in 1992, his infectious energy has been an asset to the organization's Educational Programs. Alex teaches the five hand techniques of Ghanaian drumming and believes in students working together to create a strong communal rhythm, yet embrace the confidence to use one's voice in a solo. Alex comes from a long line of drummers in the Addy family and is son of Obo Addy. He has been teaching at Right Brain Initiative, Young Audiences, Saturday Academy, Open Meadow Alternative Schools, The Higher Stages Program, and the Sun School programs throughout the city. Alex has worked with Okropong for the past 24 years.

About Okropong:
The musicians and dancers of Obo Addy Legacy Project are living examples of the strength of African performing arts. Their repertoire, featuring the yesterday, today and tomorrow of Ghanaian cultural arts, creates an aural and visual history of Ghana. Using the repertoire taught by Obo, Obo Addy Legacy Project takes you on this journey through Ghana, West Africa, through its two performing ensembles: Okropong and Obo Addy Drummers.

About Kennedy School History Pub

Kennedy School History Pub

These monthly, free events are open to everyone interested in Oregon and Pacific Northwest history. Co-sponsored by like-minded historical and civic organizations, we bring you experts, scholars, first-person experiencers and historians who expound on topics from Lewis and Clark to shipwrecks, hop growing to women pioneers and far, far beyond. It's like being back in the classroom - except this time you get to settle into comfortable seats and enjoy a drink or two with dinner while you listen and learn.

This event is eligible for a History Pub Stamp