Oops! Assumptions about African music

Recently I offered a friend several YouTube videos depicting Cuban street congas in response to our discussion about The Miami Sound Machine’s La Conga. Then I heard a cut on a CD of Dagomba music from northern Ghana that had the conga rhythm. I played it for him as an example of how the rhythm has roots in remoter parts of West Africa and is not tied to Western imports of Cuban and other music of the African Diaspora. BUT, I read the liner notes as it played and they clearly stated that this was a High Life piece, borrowing from earlier imported music. Cuban music was especially popular during the 30s and 40s in West Africa. Embarrassing.

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