Ghanaian drummer
Paa Kow brings Cookpot to Café Istanbul, 9/14

On October 13, Paa Kow, a Denver-based drummer who was born in Ghana, will release his latest recording, Cookpot. In advance of the release, he’s performing with his band this Thursday night at Café Istanbul in the New Orleans Healing Center. Show time is 9 PM.

Paa Kow last played in New Orleans back in August of 2014. He was trained in the deep rhythms of his native country and has been playing music since he was a child. He is adept at a wide range of styles and genres from the sounds of highlife, the most famous style from Ghana, to funk and jazz.

He said, “My music isn’t traditional, but it has deep roots. The highlife music is there, but when you listen, it’s kind of jazz, too. It’s funk. It’s the way the music comes to me.” A thorough listen to an advance copy of the new album confirms his statement. The lilting rhythm and scintillating guitar lines of highlife are there in droves on several cuts. Other tracks percolate with funky keyboard parts and there are sax solos galore.

The drum work of Paa Kow stands out particularly on the more African-inspired cuts. “Details” starts with solo drum work and develops from there. Talking drum opens “Pete Pete,” which will certainly get the dance floor moving.

Paa Kow is bringing a big band. He has a horn section—Brad Goode and Noah Fulton Beale on trumpets and Joel Timm on trombone. The rhythm section, with the leader on kit and lead vocals, features Tom Oguribido on bass, Solomon Goldbas on keyboards, and Peyton Shuffield on conga and other percussion. Jonnie Cohen is on guitar.

Of special note is the presence of Shuffield. The two met when he was studying music in Ghana and Paa Kow became his teacher. They hit it off and their friendship opened a door for Paa Kow, who came to Colorado at first to teach and then to live and play. The rest, as they say, is history.

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