The Gospel According To African Rythms
Until last Sunday afternoon, sections of the public had probably regarded it as a lot of flexing by a man and a bunch of followers only anxious to pat themselves on the back but Pastor Sampson Joe Baning and and his collection of musicians from the Shiloh Music Academy proved that they are really serious about bringing an exciting new edge to gospel music. Two bands from the academy, a wing of the Living Testimonies Jesus Bible Ministry (LTJBM), namely Shiloh Super African Live Gospel Band Kushite Voices from Ghana and the Junior LTJBM Live Gospel Band, launched their three new albums at a programme dubbed The Ghana Gospel Music Project 2008 at the National Theatre. Big-band sound, comprising a careful blend of Western conventional equipment with indeginous African instruments, backed enthusiastic mass as well as solo singing and dances to the delight of the big audience which included MPs Cecilia Dapaah, Nkrabeah Effah-Darteh and Christine Churcher. The songs on the two albums recorded by the adult band were composed by some of the bandâ€™s singers including Timothy Wellington, Dan Nuamah, Hannah Wellington, Sarah Nyamedor, Justina Adjei and Gifty Addo. They were all backed by the band to perform their compositions. The children in the Junior LTJBM Live Gospel Band had a great time playing material from their maiden album. They sang and danced well and the instrumentalists did not do badly at all. They got almost everyone in the theatre dancing to their tunes. A highlight of the programme was the performance of a piece by Pastor Baning for a mass choir accompanied by an assortment of African intruments including atenteben flutes, gome drum and the seprewa. He is the powerhouse behind the whole gospel music indeginisation scheme and the song captured the essence of his approach to the project. By the close of the event, which was ably emceed by Yaw Sakyi and Stella Abudu, the two bands had competently covered reggae, highlife, funk and other styles, one of which was described as African praise jazz fusion. A proud Pastor Baning told the audience that the bands will tour the country before embarking on trips to other countries.
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