Addy, Yacub Tetteh
- Vera H. Flaig
(b Accra, Ghana, 1931). American master drummer of the Ga ethnic group, West Africa. Born in Accra, Ghana, Yacub is the eldest living member of the revered Addy family of drummers. His father, Jacob Kpani Addy, was a powerful jinni whose medicine name was Okonfo Akoto. Yacub has explained that he and his brothers began drumming out of necessity: “One day when they [his father’s drummers] were very late, my father lost patience with them, and told his senior sons to start the drumming.” While the brothers had never played the drums before, they were familiar with the complex rhythms that accompanied their father’s medicine. When the drummers finally arrived, they were shocked by how well the brothers could play. In 1956, before Ghana’s independence, Yacub organized the first staged performances of traditional music at the Accra Community Center. By 1968 he started a professional touring group, Oboade, with some of his brothers. This group, based in London from ...