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Kwame Wood

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Kwame Wood is a musician and composer. He was born in Accra, Ghana in 1963. He began playing music since he was a child and came to the United States in 1990 to play in C.K. Mann’s North American tour. Kwame lived in New York City and joined a band, then moved to Washington D.C. where he founded his own band, Culture Shock. He moved to Minneapolis in 1997, where he had three children and formed the Ananse Band. He has recorded three albums “Ancestors” (1997), “Ananse Stories” (2010),“True Experience” (2015).

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Kwame Wood Transcription

My name is Kwame Wood. My stage name is Rasskwame. I was born in Accra, Ghana in West Africa in September of 1963. When I was nine years old, I knew I wanted to be a musician, so I joined a student band that won a national musical contest in 1977.

In 1986, during one of my band’s performances, I met a famous musician in Ghana by name of C.K. Mann, who promised me he would one day travel on a tour with me. In 1990 he invited me to tour with him on a North American tour. The band did not get our visas on time, so all the booked performance dates had expired when we arrived in New York City. Thus, the promoters could not afford to buy the band a return ticket to Ghana, so I stayed. At first it was a culture shock for me, but I was able to drive a taxi cab, then joined a band in New York City. After five years in New York, I relocated to Washington D.C. where I formed my own band called Culture Shock. I recorded my first album Ancestors in Washington, D.C.

In 1996, I met my kids’ mother who is from Minneapolis. I subsequently relocated to Minneapolis in 1997. We have three beautiful children together. I recorded my second album in 2010, titled Ananse Stories. I also became a citizen of the United States in 2010. I have had the opportunity to visit Ghana two times. The genre of music that I play is reggae and world beat. My music talks about uplifting the oppressed and paying homage to my ancestors and the unification of the African continent. This is the core of the message in my music. Music has always been my passion til today. I compose, arrange, and produce my own music. It hasn’t been easy being an independent artist in an advanced country like the USA, but that keeps me going, and I sincerely believe I’m on this earth to do this.