Perhaps you recall that my Great Grandmother played the Harp, Cello and Piano on a Mississippi River Boat back in the day. As in the late 1800’s. Anabelle Spurlock Gray. One day my grandmother came to visit us in Austin, and while she was there, we had Band Practice. This was in the 90’s. She had no idea that I had become a Reggae Artist! This is when she first told me about her Mother. I had no idea that one of my Maternal Ancestors was a touring musician. That I was following in her footsteps. And now, my daughter is blazing her own musical trail.
In 2014, my Spiritual Preceptors, Sebai Maa (Dr. Muata Ashby) and Seba Dja (Dr. Karen Ashby) gifted me with a Ugandan Harp, called an Agundu. At first, I had. no idea what to do. Before long, I was writing songs and recording them. I even travelled to Egypt with that harp. I loved it so much because it had 9 strings for 9 Planets! LOL!! However, on the day of the first Kemetic Music Concert in Chicago. it broke into pieces. It had not been tuning at all for several days, but I thought it would last just one more day. Alas, it did not. I posted the photos, and soon thereafter, an artist named Louis Afrifa reached out to me on facebook. He informed me that although he did not have the Agundu, he made other Kemetic String Instruments that originated in Ghana. I chose the Njarke, the African Cello, and the Seprewa, the Ghanaian Harp. Mr. Afrifa is going to learn how to make an Agundu and make one for me.
The Instruments arrived in time for the Concert. Here are some photos and video clip of their arrival and unveiling.
This is so wonderful because I now have a new friend in Ghana, and perhaps one day, we will play music together on these wonderful instruments. It was/is so exciting to do business with someone there in Africa. And these instruments have me smiling so much these days. I am looking forward to the Concert on Sunday May 19. Rumor has it that I will be playing a few songs with these new instrument. We shall see….
If you would like to order some of his instruments, visit his website:
West African Strings – African Art
Or, you can just reach out to me at amet13 at tchiya.com.
or, with this contact form: