In memoriam: Obo Addy Ghanaian master drummer passes away at 76 Obo Addy, Ghanaian master drummer, award-winning composer, skilled teacher and one of the key originators of worldbeat music, has passed away. He died Thursday afternoon in Portland, Oregon where he had lived with his wife Susan since 1978. Obo died after his second bout with liver cancer, a disease he'd been battling since 2007. He was 76 years old.

Obo Addy was born in 1936 as the son of a West African medicine man. He was given the designation of "master drummer" at the age of 6. Playing in numerous bands that blended Western pop with traditional African sounds, Addy built a career. He and some of his brothers performed at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.

After Obo settled in Portland, he continued to tour and perform, while also joining the staff at Lewis and Clark College where he taught music.

In 1993 Obo received a Governors Award for the Arts here in Oregon. In 1996, the National Endowment for the Arts gave Addy the prestigious National Heritage Fellowship Award.

Obo Addy's family released the following statement:

"These last few weeks were full of love as Obo was able to spend time with old friends and have his family all around. We are happy that his final days were peaceful - as was his passing. We know that he is flying through the sky and playing his drums for all to hear."

Addy is survived by his wife Susan; children Alex Addy, Brenda Addy, Akuyea Anupa Addy, Akuyea Bibio Addy, Akuyea Regina Addy and Kordai Addy; stepdaughter Debbe Hamada (Bill Andrews) and stepson Dan Amada (Judy); brothers Yacub Addy, Oko Thompson, Ismaila Addy and Mustapha Tettey Addy; and nine grandchildren.

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