US-Based Jazz guitarist, business owner and technology specialist Nathan Pryce, teamed up with musician friends in Ghana to record a musical eulogy honoring the memory of legendary Ghanaian Highlife musician Paapa Yankson.
Mr. Pryce in an interview with TheAfricanDream.net late August 2017 said he “sadly heard of the passing of the great Paapa while I was vacationing in Ghana. As a jazz guitarist, I decided to express my condolence in a musical eulogy in collaboration with the very talented Dela Botri (Flute) and Frank Kissi (Drums)…”
The jazz guitarist first met Paapa Yankson several years ago whilst celebrating the new year at the Golden Tulip Hotel in the company of talented Ghanaian and UK-based keyboardist Kwame Yeboah. “I personally enjoy Paapa’s music and have known them for decades”, Mr. Pryce revealed to TheAfricanDream.net as he continued to say, “I promised Papa when we met, that I was going to replay some of his songs in smooth jazz format someday so am glad to be keeping this promise.”
“I was very sad to hear he passed away, so in honor of his blessed memory and acknowledgment of his positive influence in the Ghanaian music circles I had the honor of being also joined by flutist and percussionist Dela Botri to play Paapa’s song ‘Tena Me Nkyen’ in smooth jazz format.” – Nathan Pryce
Mr. Pryce extolled the respective musical prowess of the men who joined him to work on the jazz cover: “they all are legends in their own respects and I personally feel this was our heartfelt send off for Paapa.”
The group first recorded the cover version live at +233 Jazz Bar and Grill in Accra; Ghana’s premier Jazz and Live Music Club. When Mr. Pryce was asked whether this was a sign of more to come from him, he responded, “I love music, especially jazz and I play it leisurely, but this song ‘Tena Me Nkyen’ is particularly very dear to me and those I produced it with and for now I would like to leave things there – Long live Paapa Yankson and his music.”
Paapa Yankson, born June 22, 1944, died on July 21, 2017, at his residence Ghana’s capital city Accra is one of Ghana’s celebrated Highlife sensations who influenced the music industry for over 3 decades. He has about 16 albums to his credit and has performed all over Ghana, Africa, Europe and the US.
He was 73 years old.