John CollinsUp one level
|Full name:||Prof. John Collins (PhD)|
Department of Music
University of Ghana
|Description:||John Collins has been active in the Ghanaian/West African music scene since 1969 as a band leader, music union activist, recording engineer, journalist and writer. He is currently a Professor at the Music Department at the University of Ghana at Legon, is manager of Bokoor Recording Studio, is Acting Chairman of BAPMAF African Music Archives in Accra, is a consultant for the Ghana Musicians Union and Ghana Old Musicians Welfare Association and is co-leader of the Local Dimension highlife band.|
John Collins came to Ghana in 1952 and has been involved in the West African music scene since 1969. He is a guitarist, harmonica player and percussionist and has worked, recorded and played with numerous Ghanaian and Nigerian bands; the Jaguar Jokers, Francis Kenya, E.T. Mensah, Abladei, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Koo Nimo, Kwaa Mensah, Victor Uwaifo, Bob Pinodo, the Bunzus, the Black Berets, T.O.Jazz, S.K. Oppong and Atongo Zimba. In the 1970’s he ran his own Bokoor highlife guitar band which released 20 songs and since 1982 has been running Bokoor Recording Studio 8 miles north of Accra: which released 9 records and 60 commercial cassettes and is currently releasing 3 highlife cd’s: ‘Electric Highlife’ (Naxos label Hong Kong/USA), ‘Vintage Palmwine’ (Otrabanda, Holland), the ‘Guitar and Gun” (Sterns/Earthworks UK).
Collins is also a music journalist and writer with over 100 journalistic and academic publications (including seven books published in the UK, USA and Ghana) on African popular and neo-traditional music. He has given many radio and television broadcasts, including over 40 for the British BBC. In 1978 he wrote And presented the BBC’s first-ever (five-part) series of radio programs on African popular music called ‘In The African Groove’.
Collins has been a film consultant/facilitator: the BBC’s ‘Repercussions’, ‘Brass Unbound’ by IDTV of Amsterdam, ‘The Highlife Story’ for Ghana Broadcasting, ‘Highlife’ for German Huschert Realfilm, ‘African Cross Rhythms’ by the Danish Loki Films (re-relased 1996 as ‘Listen to the Silence’ by Films for the Humanities & Sciences, New Jersey, USA), ‘When the Moment Sings’ by the Norwegian Visions company, ‘Ghanaian Art Music’ by Bavarian TV and ‘One Giant Leap/Astronaut’ music-video for Palm Pictures/Island Records.
Collins obtained his first degree (sociology and archaeology) from the University of Ghana in 1972 and his Doctorate in Ethnomusicology at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He has given lectures/workshop in Canada, the USA, the UK, Scandinavia, Holland, Germany, France, the Caribbean, Ghana and the Cote-D’Ivoire. He has been a resident research-fellow at the Northwestern University African Studies Department at Evanston in the US and Dartmouth Art College in the West of England
Collins was on the Executive of the Ghana Musicians Union (MUSIGA) in the 1970’s and, together with Professor J.H.K. Nketia and the Ghanaian folk-guitarist Koo Nimo, was in 1987 made an honorary life-member of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM). During the 1990’s Collins was Technical Director of the three-year joint Universiy of Ghana African Studies Department/Mainz African Music Redocumentation Project, and for seven years was with the Ghana National Folklore Board of Trustees/Copyright Administration. In the summer of 2000 Collins teamed up with fellow guitarist Koo Nimo and went on a performance tour of the US eastern sea-board with him.
Currently Collins is running his Bokoor Studio as a mobile one. He is the Acting Chairman of the Bokoor African Popular Music Archives Foundation (BAPMAF). He is PRO for the Old Ghanaian Musicians Welfare Association (GOMAWA), consultant for MUSIGA, patron of the Afrika Obonu music therapy drum group and consultant for a World Bank project to assist the African music industry. He is also a Professor and Head of the Music Department of the University of Ghana, Legon from where he runs (with Aaron Bebe Sukura) the Local Dimension palmwine highlife band that toured Europe in 2002 and 2004 and released a CD entitled N’Yong on the French Disques Arion label.
All downloadable files including 3 full-length mp3 music examples
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Articles written by John Collins
Books written by John Collins
What has been written about John Collins
Bokoor African Popular Music Archives Foundation
|Local Dimension :||
Palmwine Highlife Group based at the Music and Dance Departments of the University of Ghana at Legon
LOCAL DIMENSION was started in 1997 by some students and staff of the Music and Dance Departments of the University of Ghana at Legon. The group combines guitars and West African instruments and plays a range of West African popular music styles such as Guitar-Band Highlife, Palmwine Music, Afro-Beat, Congo Jazz (i.e. Soukous), Dagari-Highlife Fusions and songs in the traditional Adowa and Agbadza styles.
LOCAL DIMENSION features Aaron Bebe Sukura on seprewa harp-lute, xylophone, mbira thumb-piano and vocals, John Collins on guitar and harmonica, Mary Agama on percussion and vocals, Francis Akotuah on percussion, Isaac Accrong on giant premprensua hand-piano (some songs) and Bernard ‘Solar’ Quarshie on the giant gome bass-drum (some songs). For several years the band also featured the late great T.O. Jazz (of Ampoumah’s guitar band) and his place is now taken by T.O. Jazz’s longtime percussionist and principal singer Kojo Menu.
LOCAL DIMENSION has performed many times in Accra and surrounding towns: at the Shangri-La Hotel, the Goethe Institute, Bywells Club in Osu, the Alliance Francais, the AAMA Beach Hotel Kokrobite, the Paloma Club, the National Theatre, Sey’s Club in Tema, the Matemasie and Legon Club programs of the University of Ghana.
LOCAL DIMENSION performed at the University of Ghana’s 50th Anniversary Celebra-tions and it has appeared on local TV four times.
LOCAL DIMENSION In November and December 2002 the band toured Germany, Swit-zerland and France and played at many venues; including jazz clubs such as the Birds Eye in Basel, Moods in Zurich and the Satellite Café and Baiser Salee Club in Paris. In 2003 Local Dimension released a CD of 14 tracks (recorded at Pidgin Studios Accra by Panji Anoff) entitled N’Yong on the French Disques Arion label.
Contact: Aaron Bebe Sukrua (email@example.com) or Professor John Collins, Bokoor House, P.O. Box 391, Achimota, Accra, GHANA Tel 233 21 512555 (home) (firstname.lastname@example.org) or either of above via the Music Department, Univ. of Ghana, Legon, GHANA.
DETAIL FOR OBTAINING COPYIES OF RECENTLY RELEASED LOCAL DIMENSION N’YONG CD: acoustic highlifes and Dagari-fusion music by Local Dimension Band run by John Collins/Aaron Bebe Sukura. Released in Paris Sept. 2003
ARION S.A. RECORDS Manuela Ostrolenk (Director) or Valentin Langlois
|Music, Film and Video:||
Music, Film and Video Productions John Collins has been associated with
1977: Acted as colonial Education Officer Reynolds in the “Black President” biographical film on (and co- produced by) Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. Made in Ghana and Nigeria in1977.
1983: Consultant for Third Eye/ BBC film on black music ‘Repercussions’
1988: Consultant for Danish Loki Film production ‘African Cross Rhythms’ (released 1994)
1992: Consultant for the Dutch ID TV film on Ghanaian brass bands ‘Brass Unbound’
1994: Consultant for Ghana Television film ‘The Story of Highlife’
1994: Consultant for German Huschert Realfilm production ‘Highlife in Ghana.’
1995: Consultant for German Bavarian TV film ‘Art Music in Ghana’
1995: Consultant for Norwegian Vision TV film ‘When the Moment Sings’
1999 Facilitator for Palm Pictures/Island Records ‘A Giant Leap Forward/Astronaut’ music- video film and CD ROM .
2002 NAXOS (US/Hong Kong record company) release ‘Electric Highlife’.
2003 Otrabanda Records Amsterdam. ‘Vintage Highlife’ (acoustic guitar music Kwaa Mensah, Koo Nimo and T.O.Jazz recorded Bokoor Studio.
2003 Earthworks/Sterns African Records. ‘Guitar and Gun’ (recordings from Bokoor Studio)
|Boards and committees:||
Boards and committees of which John Collins is a member/patron
Record companies distributing John Collins/Bokoor Sounds Music
Otrabanda Records. VINTAGE PALMWINE (Acoustic ‘palmwine’ guitar highlife cd from Bokoor Studio by Kwaa Mensah,T.O.Jazz. and Koo Nimo released 2003)
Stern's Music Centre. GUITAR AND GUN (Highlife compilation cd from Bokoor Studio released 2003. Re-issue of an album of same name released by UK Cherry Red Records in 198/4)
Naxos USA/Hong Kong. ELECTRIC HIGHLIFE (Highlife compilation cd from Bokoor Studio released 2002)
Rough Guide Music. ROUGH GUIDE TO HIGHLIFE (Track 13 of cd, T.O.Jazz ‘Agyeman Baidoo’ recorded at Bokoor Studio. Released 2003)
Kona Records. AFRO ROCK. (Track 10 of cd. John Collins’s 1970’s Bokoor Band Afro-beat song ‘Onukpa Shwarpo’ released 2002)
Arion S.A. Records. N’YONG (Cd of acoustic highlifes and Dagari-fusion music by Local Dimension Band run by John Collins/Aaron Bebe Sukura. Released in Paris Sept. 2003)
|Research in Ghanaian Theatre:||
Announcement 26-Jan-05 on Ghana Theatre Archives Conference on Ghana FileLegon, Ghana, Date: 27 Aug 2005
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|Local Dimension Band Tour 2006:||
6 PIECE LOCAL DIMENSION HIGHLIFE BAND (LED BY AARON BEBE SUKURA AND JOHN COLLINS)Belgium and Holland, Date: 26 Jan 2006
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