Over the course of their 15 UK tours, the Kakatsitsi Master Drummers from Ghana have made numerous visits to Scotland, performing at festivals and venues as well as teaching at schools across the country. Along the way they have met a number of traditional Scottish musicians and have made some initial forays into developing some musical collaborations with them.
In 1996, on their debut UK tour, Kakatsitsi performed at the Edinburgh Fringe where they were fortunate to meet Karen Marshalsay with whom they collaborated briefly at a series of performances in Brixton and elsewhere in London. In 2003, the drummers visited Dundee where they jammed with some local traditional musicians in a local pub before conducting a recording project in a local studio. On their many visits to the Orkney International Science Festival they have joined forces with local traditional trio Three in a Bar to perform short collaborative pieces at events during the festival and on a recent trip to Shetland they jammed with some traditional musicians in a bar in Lerwick.
While on tour in the Highlands in 2014 the members of Kakatsitsi were fortunate to meet local musician and activist Griogair Labrhuidh who invited them to perform at an event held on his croft.
Kakatsitsi, Griogair and friends of Griogair explored some options – one very promising track (Oge – Cur Nan Gobhar) was produced which has received excellent feedback from programmers at the WOMAD and Sidmouth International Folk music festivals.
During the early part of their 2015 tour, some of the members of Kakatsitsi travelled to Scotland to perform with Griogair and friends at the Hope Over Fear demonstration in Glasgow.
The musicians then spent a few days rehearsing a live set.
Sadly the project was cancelled when Griogair was recruited into the new Afro-Celtic Sound System.
There is also scope for overlap between the Afro-Gaelic Fusion Project and the Electro-Fusion Project, whereby for some audiences we will introduce some electronic beats and basslines to add weight to the African drums and to help move the dance floor for younger, more ‘up for it’ audiences.