Osibisa (the name is Akan dialect for criss-cross rhythms) were from the real heart. Four were from Africa, three from the West Indies.
On the strength of infectious sets in London at clubs such as The Speakeasy and Ronnie Scott’s, Osibisa were signed to Bronze Management before securing a worldwide deal from MCA Records.
Tony Visconti produced their first two albums (in one take each – to capture the vibe) and they became the first black act to have an entire episode of The Old Grey Whistle Test devoted to them.
Released in 1971, their self-titled debut album sold 10,000 copies in the first three days of London release and was a massive success all over the world, including Africa.
The band decamped to Ghana to set up and run music academies, recording studios and performance venues, providing opportunities for young musicians to study local music and learn about the international music business.
Still based in Ghana, Osibisa is still active. 2010 brought a new studio album (Osee Yee) and an international tour – including a date at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall.
African drums, flute, saxophone, vocals
Lead guitar, vocals
Flugelhorn, kabosy, trumpet