Ghanaian musicians Ebo Taylor and Bibie Brew will be honoured with the 2019 Music In Africa Honorary Award at the opening of the Music In Africa Conference for Collaborations, Exchange and Showcases (ACCES) in Accra, Ghana on 28 November, for their illustrious work as a music mentor and an advocate for positive change.
The award, courtesy of the Music In Africa Foundation, recognises the outstanding contributions of notable musicians to their home country’s industry and that of Africa as a whole. Previous Music In Africa Honorary Award recipients include Senegalese legend Baaba Maal and Kenyan musician Eric Wainaina, who were honoured in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
“This year, we are extremely excited to present the Music In Africa Honorary Award to Mr Ebo Taylor and Ms Bibie Brew for their inspirational work in the African music sector,” Music In Africa Foundation Maimouna Dembélé said. “Their dedication and efforts made to strengthen African musical identity is exemplary and we cannot wait to welcome them to the ACCES stage this November.”
With a music career spanning more than six decades, Ebo Taylor (born in 1936) is a significant figure in the Ghanaian music scene. He is known for playing a pivotal role in shaping highlife bands the Stargazers and the Broadway Dance Band in the late 1950s. Taylor made an impact outside Ghana, especially in 1962 when he took his Black Star Highlife Band to London where he collaborated with legendary Afrobeat singer Fela Kuti and other African musicians.
Taylor has produced such top Ghanaian artists as Pat Thomas and CK Mann. He also worked with Germany-based saxophonist Ben Abarbanel-Wolff on the Love and Death album. In 2009, US singer Usher sampled Taylor’s song ‘Heaven’ for ‘She Don’t Know’ featuring Ludacris.
The award for Bibie Brew pays tribute to her illustrious work as a music mentor and an advocate for positive change in the creative sector, in addition to a music career that produced one of Africa’s biggest global hits.
A daughter of a traveling diplomat, Bibie Brew (born in 1957) earned success following the release of the French song ‘Tout Doucement’ in 1985. The song was produced by renowned French composer Jean-Paul Dréau. It was certified gold and climbed to second place on the French charts. Other songs that have defined her career include ‘J’veux pas l’savoir’ and ‘Les femmes reviennent et les hommes s’en vont’. The singer has released six albums, including Bibie (1985), Regards (1986), Tendress’moi (1988), La P’tite Black (1990), Femme d’ici ou d’ailleurs (1992) and Sereine (2003).
ACCES 2019 recently unveiled the first batch of international artists who will showcase at this year’s music conference, including Mokoomba (Zimbabwe), Arka’n (Togo), Sibusile Xaba (South Africa) and Ifrikya Spirit (Algeria). They will join Ghanaian acts Yaa Yaa, Kyekyeku & Ghanalogue Highlife, FOKN Bois and FRA!
In addition to the showcases, the event will feature panel discussions, workshops, exhibitions, product pitches and networking sessions, all taking place at the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences on 28, 29 and 30 November.
Registrations for the pan-African trade event are open and African delegates register for free.
ACCES is a pan-African trade event for music industry players to exchange ideas, discover new talent and create business linkages. ACCES is held in a different African city every year, attracting active music industry players from across the globe.
ACCES is organised by the Music In Africa Foundation, a non-profit and pan-African organisation, in partnership and with the support of Siemens Stiftung, Goethe-Institut, Reeperbahn Festival International, Alliance Française, BMG, MediaSound Hamburg, the Multimedia Group, Africa Art Lines, Afrikayna, the Gold Coast Hub, the Year of Return, the Prince Claus Fund and the ANT Mobility Grant from Pro Helvetia Johannesburg, financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
This year ACCES has a partnership with Reeperbahn Festival – one of the most important meeting places for the music industry worldwide and Europe’s largest club festival based in Hamburg, Germany. The partnership creates a framework for the festival to collaborate with ACCES in facilitating sustainable business engagements and exchange between European and African music businesses and professionals, as well as the provision of performance opportunities to musicians in both territories.