The music of Domingo Justus is some of the earliest known recorded in the African folk tradition. Quite interestingly, however, the music was recorded in the city of London, and Justus himself was not believed to be a resident of the African continent at the time. On the contrary, Justus was a West African transplant to Brazil, originally from Lagos, Nigeria, relocated to London. Such transplant culture was a significant component of the immigrant experience, particularly during the United Kingdom's colonial era. The music resulting from these experiences is likewise imbued with a sense of this duality and transitory way of life. In his time, specifically circa 1925-1927, Justus recorded several original and traditional songs inspired by his experiences as part of the African Diaspora, mixing his Lagosian and Yoruba folk song roots within the context of his day-to-day existence in his adopted home. He also provided backing vocals to many Ghanaian performers recording around the same time, and much of this output was recorded for the Zonophone Record label of the RCA-Victor Group. While efforts were made in the mastering process to attain the highest possible audio quality, the limitations of the source 78s are evident. Do not, however, let that disturb your listening enjoyment or regard for their historical significance.
These rare recordings are some of the first ever featuring traditional African music played on western instruments. This cultural exchange led to completely new genres in music, most importantly, Highlife. Kumasi is a Gold Coast city in Ghana, West Africa, that, at the time, did not feature much more than an open air market and one of the first British department stores in the continent. The Trio is made up on H.E. Biney on guitar, Kwah Kanta on percussion, and Jacob Sam on guitar, with all three contributing on vocals. The trio was brought to London to record these tracks in the Summer of 1928. While efforts were made in the mastering process to attain the highest possible audio quality, the limitations of the source 78s are evident. Do not, however, let that disturb your listening enjoyment or regard for their historical significance.
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