Kakatsitsi are a group of traditional drummers, dancers and singers from the Ga tribe of Southern Ghana, with their roots in the fishing community of Jamestown, the part of Accra where the British based their colonial headquarters. Their music takes traditional rhythms and chants from their own Ga tradition and those of a variety of other West African cultures, rearranging them in a modern and accessible way. Since 1996, Kakatsitsi have toured the UK 15 times, working with a wide variety of festivals, arts centres and local authorities. The recent addition of a strong dance element, to complement the already outstanding drumming and singing components, has established Kakatsitsi as the leading African traditional group in the UK, with the leading Ga singers, drummers and dancers among their number.
Ideal for festivals, carnivals, street performances or village halls, Kakatsitsi can adapt to most environments. Seen live, they show culture as it is meant to be celebrated, breaking down the barriers between audience and performers by encouraging the active participation of the people in the celebration, whether on the drums, chanting or dancing. Recorded music is all very well, but with traditional music and dance the measure of the performance is in the involvement of the people in the spirit of the occasion. Kakatsitsi’s music combines traditional drumming grooves played on a wide variety of West African drums with traditional chants sung in six part harmony, the quality of which sets them above most dance-led traditional African groups.
The group have developed a particularly strong educational dimension, whereby they visit local schools or youth & community centres in the week running up to a performance to teach a few simple rhythms, chants and dances.
In addition, Kakatsitsi are keen collaborators. They have worked with electronica producers and DJs, and Celtic musicians on various fusion shows and releases, including performing with The Orb on the West-Holts Stage at Glastonbury Festival in 2013.