Drummer, teacher and composer, 76-year-old Obo Addy died yesterday in Portland after his second bout with cancer.
Addy was the son of a West African medicine man, given the "master drummer" title at the age of six. Addy was famous for playing in bands that blended Western pop with traditional African sounds. He and his brothers performed at the 1972 Olympic games in Munich and toured heavily until Addy moved to Portland in 1978.
In 1986 Addy and his wife founded Homowo African Arts and Cultures, or the Obo Addy Legacy Project, which focuses on "creating, performing and teaching African arts."
Addy's family released a statement saying, "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."