PAT THOMAS is playing a very special part within Western Africa’s history of Highlife. Since the 1970s he has been mainstay of this genre which combines traditional elements of Ghanaian music with European instruments. Born in Agona, in the Ashanti Region, Thomas was surrounded by music in his life just from the beginning - his father was a music theory instructor and his mother, a bandleader. His uncle was the legendary Ghanaian guitarist King Onyina, who was not only renowned for his own recordings, but also for his pioneering work with Nat King Cole. Pat spent many years with his uncle and learned musical notation. He also began to study the guitar and drums. He became a notable composer and as a teenager he established a reputation as a singer on the local club scene. Later in life he moved to Accra to work very close with just another great exponent of the scene: Ebo Taylor. In the late 1970s these two became the driving force of Ghana’s musical genre which combined elements of Highlife, Afropop and Afrobeat.
Part of the 80’s he spent in London and then the 90’s in Canada focusing on teaching at a university, but still playing concerts regularly. Thanks to his unique vocal styles, Pat has become one of the biggest musical attractions of Ghana and has been named Mr. Golden Voice of Africa. His comeback album released in 2015 reunites him with some old friends: Next to Ebo Taylor, also the legendary drummer Tony Allen and other music buddies cooperate with him on the record. Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band lets Highlife come to life again with all its diversity: it’s casual and fresh, partly traditional, sometimes accompanied by some Funk or Afrobeat, but always with this groove which is so appreciated in Highlife.
Pat Thomas - vocals
Kwame Yeboah - guitar, keyboards
Prince Larbi - drums
Emmanuel Opoku Ware - guitar, keyboards
Eric Owusu – percussion instruments
Emmanuel Ofori - bass
Ben Abarbanel-Wolff - saxophone
Philip Sindy - trumpet