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E.T. Mensah


With the passage of trumpet player, saxophonist, and vocalist Emmanuel Tettey “E.T.” Mensah on July 19, 1996, at age 78, Ghana dropped among its most important musicians. Respectfully referred to as “the daddy of contemporary highlife,” Mensah performed a vital part within the development of Ghana’s music. In the first ’90s, Mensah recalled his revamping of highlife, detailing, “We urgently needed an indigenous tempo to displace the fading international music of waltz, rhumba, etc. We progressed a music type counting on simple African rhythms, a crisscross African ethnic audio.” A indigenous of the tiny community of Ussher City in Accra, Ghana, Mensah primarily played fife within an elementary-school music group. Switching to trumpet and saxophone in his teenagers, he quickly fascinated attention along with his expressive playing. At age 18, he shaped his initial music group, the Accra Tempo Orchestra, an organization made up of five saxophones, acoustic guitar, and African drums. Although he became a member of Scottish trumpet participant Jack Leopard’s music group in 1940, he continued to be just a few weeks before taking an invitation to become charter person in a highlife music group, the Tempos. He quickly assumed management of the group. As opposed to early highlife organizations, that have been modeled after jazz big rings from the 1940s, the Tempos was among the 1st to adapt highlife rhythms to some small-ensemble approach. An important part of the band’s audio was Mensah’s performing in a number of indigenous Ghanaian dialects. Although the initial lineup of Tempo disbanded in 1942, Mensah reorganized the group six years later on. Mensah as well as the group toured effectively throughout THE UK in 1953. Amongst their many strike singles had been “Donkey Calypso,” “College Female,” and “Weekend Mirror.” Educated being a pharmacist, Mensah sometimes proved helpful in the field to health supplement his income being a musician. Music, nevertheless, remained his leading focus. Mensah enticed global interest when he performed with Louis Armstrong during festivities of Ghana’s self-reliance in 1957. 2 yrs later, he constructed a tune to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s stop by at Ghana. Although he taken care of a minimal profile in the first ’60s, Mensah started the to begin many comebacks in 1969. Despite getting restricted to a wheelchair, he embarked on a global tour in 1986. In 1986, a biography of Mensah by musicologist John Collins, E.T. Mensah: Ruler of Highlife, was released by Off the Record Press in London and Ghana Condition Publishing Business in Accra.

Quick Facts

Full Name E. T. Mensah
Date Of Birth May 31, 1919
Died July 19, 1996, Accra, Ghana
Profession Musician
Nationality Ghanaian
Music Songs Ghana Freedom, Nkebo Baaya, Medzi Medzi, Ghana-Guinee-Mali, Daavi Loloto, Odofo, Donkey Calypso, Gbaa Anokwale, Onipa, Don't Mind Your Wife, Nkatie, Sunday Mirror, Fom Fom, Afi Fro Fro, Bus Conductor, Asembon Tie M'Ansem, Tea Samba, Munsuro, Inflation Calypso, St. Peter's Calypso, Kaa No Wa, Wiadzi, Essie Nana, Menzi Menzi, John B. Calypso, Mee Bei Obada, Adainkua, Abodzin, Yei Ngebewoh, Abele, Damfo Wo Eni Ewn, Bus Collector
Albums All For You, 51 Lex Presents: Tea Samba, E.T. Mensah Is Back Again, Day by Day
Movies The Destiny of Lesser Animals

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Who Is Highlife? 2009 Documentary

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