Chief Udoh Essiet believes in rhythm. “My music is natural, it's like eating organic healthy food.” He serves it hot and spicy on his latest album “Afrobeat Highlife Crossing.” He is a master percussionist, singer, composer, and bandleader.
His father was a pastor and he was born in southeastern Nigeria. He started on a log drum, the “adodom,” playing traditional rhythms with dance groups. He was the conga soloist with the legendary Fela Anikulapo Kuti from 1980-83. They toured Africa and Europe and he was on several of Fela’s classic recordings. 1970s Lagos was a vibrant music scene. Udoh apprenticed with the greats of Highlife music, such as Dr. Victor Olaiya, Rex Lawson, Rex Williams, E.T. Mensah, plus juju musician King Sunny Ade.
He was a founding member of Ghetto Blaster, an influential band in the Paris World Music scene in the 1980s. From Paris, he released “Afrobeat Blaster” in 1991 and “Time For Highlife” in 1999. His percussion enlivens the recordings of World artists Tony Allen, Mory Kante, Salif Keita, Papa Wemba and others. Creating the conga groove for vibraphonist Roy Ayers’ “2000 Black” in Nigeria in 1979, he still tours with Roy in Europe to this day.
Now Chief Udoh Essiet mixes his heritage, experience and creativity to cross Highlife and Afrobeat rhythm on his new album. He blends all that he is, feels, and believes today, yet still plays his hand-made antelope skin congas and talking drums from Nigeria. His music truly nourishes the body and the soul.
2017 - Chief Udoh Essiet - Afrobeat Highlife Crossing / 2008 - Seun Kuti and Fela's Egypt 80 - Many Things / 1999 - Chief Udoh Essiet - Time For Highlife / 1991 - Afrobeat Blaster - No Condition Is Permanent / 1990 - Salif Keita - Soro / 1986 - Ghetto Blaster - People / 1984 - Ghetto Blaster - Preacher Man / 1982 - Fela Anikulapo Kuti - Authority Stealing / 1981 - Fela Anikulapo Kuti - ITT - International Thief Thief / 1981 - Fela Anikulapo Kuti - Perambulator / 1980 - Fela Anikulapo Kuti - Coffin For Head of State / 1980 - Fela Anikulapo Kuti - Unknown Soldier / 1980 - Fela Anikulapo Kuti - Power Show / 1979 - Roy Ayers and Fela - Center of the World / 1979 - Roy Ayers and Fela - 2000 Black / 1975 - Victor Olaiya - Oro Jesu / 1975 - Victor Olaiya - Aji Kemi / 1966 - Nkaima Traditional Dance Group recording.