Gyedu-Blay Ambolley

@ Crystal Ballroom

Saturday August 17, 2024

07:00 PM - 11:00 pm

Gyedu Blay Ambolley is a musical luminary hailing from Ghana, West Africa, with a staggering 29 albums under his belt. Known affectionately as the “Simigwa Do Man,” Ambolley’s musical journey began in the vibrant port city of Sekondi-Takoradi, in the Western Region of Ghana. His early fascination with music blossomed into a lifelong passion. From mastering his father’s flute at the tender age of eight, to honing his guitar skills under the mentorship of “Uncle Bonku”, Sammy Lartey and Ebo Taylor, Ambolley’s musical odyssey has been nothing short of extraordinary. This all led to Ambolley becoming a musical life force and exploding on the scene in 1973 with a jazzy highlife sound called ‘SIMIGWA-DO’. His name has become synonymous with Simigwa music and dance.

Coming of age amidst the zenith of Ghana’s highlife era, Ambolley emerged as a pivotal figure in its evolution, lending his talents to esteemed bands such as Houghas Extraordinaires, Meridians Of Tema and Ghana Broadcasting Band. It was during this time that he caught the attention of his compatriot and friend, Ebo Taylor, who recruited Ambolley to be a member of the Uhuru Dance Band. This all lead to a transformative journey to Nigeria in 1973, where they shared the stage with the legendary Fela Kuti at his renowned Shrine venue.

1975 Debut Album Simigwa:
Gyedu Blay Ambolley’s groundbreaking debut solo album, released in 1975, stands as a cornerstone of Ghanaian music history – with one of the most iconic album covers! Simigwa stands as Ambolley’s magnum opus, a masterpiece fusing together the rich tapestry of highlife, afrobeat, folk and funk. The album is a true testament to Ambolley’s unparalleled artistry written and produced in collaboration with the legend Ebo Taylor.

Ambolley not only embraces his musical roots but also pioneers the fusion of Ghanaian highlife with soul and funk influences from across the Atlantic. With Simigwa, Ambolley seized the opportunity to showcase his own musical prowess and embark on a journey of experimentation. A main inspiration for this album was the work of the mighty Mr. James Brown, something that is evident from the rhythm section, horns, vocal stabs and percussion breaks throughout the record.

Saturday August 17, 2024

7:00 pm - 11:00 pm

All Ages

Cover: $25.00

Gyedu-Blay Ambolley