Kow on the go

BY DI STAFF | AUGUST 07, 2014 5:00 AM

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The doors will open at the Yacht Club, 13 S. Linn St., for eclectic Ghanaian percussionist Paa Kow and his band, By All Means, at 9 p.m. Saturday. The show is part of the release tour for his new album, Ask, which will be released Aug. 19. Kow and his eight-piece band will once again bring their improvisational, jazz- and punk-influenced orchestral Afro-fusion sound to Iowa City.

Kow is a resident of Colorado and a native of the small village of Enyan Denkyira near Cape Coast in Ghana, where he began playing in a band at age 7 with his mother as vocalist and an uncle who provided the instruments. At 14, he began to tour with other musicians in his area and eventually played in the capital city, Accra. Now, after 23 years of performing, Kow continues to tour.

“I think a tour is the best way to share music with people,” he said.

Pete McCarthy of the Yacht Club knew Kow before through a friend of Kow’s wife. He was first invited to perform at the Yacht Club just over two years ago.

“He’d never performed in the Midwest, and we really wanted to get him out to the Midwest,” McCarthy said. “I think of him as the James Brown of drummers.”

Using the Yacht Club gig and the Ask tour as a whole, Kow hopes to spread his music to as many people as he can. He has toured in Switzerland, Scotland, Belgium, the Netherlands, and parts of Africa. He aspires to tour in Australia and Japan, too.

After the tour, he will return to Ghana for three weeks and will continue recording and touring from there. He says he will make music for as long as he can.

“As a musician, I find that the music always comes to me,” he said.

 — By Conor McBrien

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