J.C. Abbey, Ghana's Puppeteer

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J.C.ABBEY, GHANA'S PUPPETEER (2016, 55 minutes, in English, Ga, Ewe, Fante, and Twi; subtitle translation options: English, French, Italian). Published by VoxLox and Anyaa Arts Library for the Anyaa Arts Kollektif. 

This film documents an exceptional fifty-year artistic career, from Accra’s streets to Ghana’s villages to international TV. In fifteen delightful puppet shows, Mr. Abbey is joined by musicians Nii Noi Nortey and NiiOtoo Annan and filmmakers Nii Yemo Nunu and Steven Feld to chronicle Ghana's music since independence in 1957. The marionettes perform ethnic songs, dances and stories, but equally the sounds of highlife, Afrojazz, Afro-rock, reggae, and contemporary hiplife. The innovative soundtrack includes historical documents from radio, TV and broadcast, and LP, as well as new compositions commissioned and performed to playback. This fifth feature in the Jazz Cosmopolitanism in Accra series mixes styles of historical documentary and contemporary music video. Through the pleasures of performance it reveals the cosmopolitan politics that intertwine ethnic, traditional, national, and global musical styles in Ghana today. 

Marionette and Rod Puppet Performances, Commentary: J.C. Abbey

Music, Direction, Design: Nii Noi Nortey

Music, Commentary: Nii Otoo Annan

Photography, Video: Nii Yemo Nunu

Sound, Video, Production, Direction: Steven Feld

Editing and DVD Mastering: Jeremiah Ra Richards

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