Ghanaian drummer and dancer who was one of the first native African musicians to bring the fusion of traditional folk music and Western pop music known as worldbeat
to Europe and then to the Pacific Northwest of the United States in the late 1970s. He currently teaches music at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon.
Addy was born into the Ga ethnic group in Accra, the capital city of Ghana. He was one of the 55 children of Jacob Kpani Addy, a wonche or medicine man who integrated rhythmic music into healing and other rituals. Obo Addy's earliest musical influence was the traditional music of the Ga people, but he was also influenced as an adolescent by popular music from Europe and the United States, and performed in local bands that played Westernized music and the dance music of Ghana known as highlife.Addy was employed by the Arts Council of Ghana in 1969, and played his native Ga traditional music in the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany. He moved to London, England, and began touring in Europe. In 1978, he moved to Portland, Oregon in the United States, where he teaches at Lewis & Clark College. He has also led weekly drumming workshops at Portland's Lincoln High School.