Alex 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.
Nii Ayi Charles Armah
Nii Ayi Charles Armah could play almost all the traditional drums of his ethnic group, the Ga people of Accra, Ghana by the age of 8. After joining the National Dance Company of Ghana in 1993 he rose to become Assistant Master Drummer. As one of the two Master Drummers in the company he could play all the leading drums of musical forms from each region within Ghana. Since 1993, his work with that company has taken him to England, France, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Indonesia, Zimbabwe, S. Korea and the United States. Charles was featured on the ceremonial Fontomfrom drums in a performance for President Clinton during the President’s visit to Ghana in 1998. He also played for many years with the great master drummer Obo Addy in his world beat band Kukrudu and continues to perform and provide community workshops with the traditional drumming and dance troupe Okropong.