Rass Kwame

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Rass KwameLiner Notes: ANANSE STORIES (2010)

Rass Kwame of Accra, Ghana, in an act of faith, brought his unique brand of storytelling to America over 20 years ago. He is a man of Jah, a man of Africa, a loving father, and, above all, a lover of life. His African style of Roots Reggae is his doorway to a world in which Jah sees our suffering, but Ananse, the spider-trickster-storyteller-god, tells the story of who we are, how we got here, and how we can reconnect to Jah.

In Ananse Stories, his second compilation of music in 12 years, he continues his pilgrim’s progress in his adopted home, America, with jubilation as well as skepticism. In the end, though, it all comes down to Jah, “who will forgive us, who will save us, who will redeem us,” confused and messed up mortals though we may be.

The rhythms of his music, his drumming, are pure Africa. His sentiment, longing, and redemption in the love of his family are evident of the resources he has drawn with him across the water and found in astonishing ways in this new land. Rass Kwame believes in miracles; this collection will engender that belief in you.

Kwame thanks his children, Fifi, Emily, Rosie, and Samson, his friends, and, most of all, his maker for encouraging and allowing him to continue his music making begun over 35 years ago.



West African reggae artist Kwame Wood came of age immersed in the music of his native Ghana. He began singing at age nine and, by the time he reached 13, was singing original music in his own band. During a local student music contest (which he won), Kwame picked up the drumsticks when the band’s drummer didn’t show, and began his journey as a powerful drummer as well as an inspiring and engaging singer. He has played with internationally known musicians including Osibisa’s Mark Tontoh, Liberian songstress Miatta Fahnbulleh, Highlife fusion pioneer George Darko, and Jazz artist Stanley Turrentine.

On tour with C.K. Mann, the Highlife King of Ghana, he came to North America in 1990. Kwame eventually settled in New York, playing with world beat group Nkossi. As band leader of Culture Shock, in Washington D.C., he helped make Bukom Cafe a local hot spot. In 1997 Kwame relocated to Minneapolis and formed the Ananse Band. He has opened for Lucky Dube, Burning Spear, The Wailers, Culture and many more.

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