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Highlife stars come out for Jon K
Jon K was a Ghanaian music producer, keyboardist, singer-songwriter and recording artiste

Highlife stars come out for Jon K

Some of the nation’s best-known Highlife acts will perform at the +233 Jazz Bar & Grill in Accra on July 20, 2024, as part of a concert to mark the 25th anniversary of the passing of Ghanaian music producer, keyboardist, singer-songwriter and recording artiste, Jon K.

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On the bill to celebrate their late colleague are Bessa Simons and the Bessa Band, Pozo Hayes, Joe Osei, Okyeame Kwame, Paulina Oduro and Amandzeba.

 Jon K was a multi-talented fellow. Apart from the three albums under his name: ‘Adowa’ (1987), ‘Asaboni’  (1989) and ‘Gidigidi’ (1993), he produced songs for others including Ben Brako, Western Diamonds and Thomas Frimpong. 
 

He formed the Village Communications Company with his friend, Richard Prempeh and they produced the famous ‘Taxi Driver’ television series that had Psalm Adjeteyfio in the lead role. Jon K also scored the music for the first Club Shandy and GLICO television commercials and was a documentary film producer as well.  

Singer Paulina Oduro, who featured on all three Jon K albums and was a member of his Tumtum Band in London, said she was grateful to Jon K for introducing her to Highlife and Ghanaian popular music in general.

Paulina Oduro

“I used to sing with Reggae and Soca bands in England. I didn’t have any connection with Ghanaian music till Jon K encouraged me to embrace Highlife. He turned me on to Ghanaian music and I have never regretted listening to his advice,” Pauline stated.

She’ll perform some of the duets she recorded with Jon K at the +233 concert. Accompanied by some of the male acts on the show, she’ll render tracks like ‘Akwankwaa Hiani’, ‘Eno Brebre’ and ‘Odo Yewu.’ 

President of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA), Bessa Simons, worked with Jon K on a number of projects in London. His Bessa Band will back all the solo performers at the programme and he’s looking forward to a great night of Highlife.

“You don’t need to have known Jon K before coming out to celebrate him at +233 on July 20. He stood for well-produced, well-performed music with an African feel and there’ll be lots of that at the show. It’s going to be a happy, memorable salute to music from Ghana and Africa,” Bessa said. 

Joe Osei has paid his dues as a singer.  He lived and worked in London for several years and knew Jon K well. He has relocated to Ghana and is glad to be part of those set to perform at the tribute concert. 

Pozo Hayes, Amandzeba and Okyeame Kwame are all established names who know how to delight fans. They are geared up to help make the concert as exciting as possible. 

Jon K died on July 19, 1999, in a London hospital where he had been rushed after collapsing in a recording studio while producing singer, Nana Yaa’s debut album. 

The July 20 concert is being organised by +233 Jazz Bar & Grill in collaboration with Jon K’s family and MUSIGA.

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