Bortier Okoe

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Intricate rhythms blend traditional kpalogo drums, djembe, kora, and balafone with exciting vocals, guitar riffs, and horn lines, creating a new musical force a sound which connects him with his audiences and inspires even the most reserved listener to get up and dance and sing along.
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Musical connection with the young

At about the same time Bortier set up African Soul in Australia, Bortier established a sister group ensemble of Telema, that now performs regularly throughout Australia in schools and at a wide variety of events and festivals.

Through his Telema Bii, Bortier has been able to fulfill his passion of passing on his musical skills to the young people in the community, nurturing them and teaching them the importance of the spirit behind the music and the stories that go together with the dances.  The Telema Bii comprises Australian-born drummers the vast majority of whom have spent time in Ghana developing their skills as drummers and dancers.

Professional collaboration

Bortier is a highly regarded accompanist for contemporary dance classes at Adelaide dance schools including ACArts, Leigh Warren & Dancers and the Australia Dance Theatre. He is a member of the Ticklish Allsorts children’s theatre performance troupe, and regularly facilitates workshops for Splash Theatre Company.

Making the grand vision a reality

Bortier’s biggest dream is to share Ghanaian culture with people all over the world. By visiting Ghana on drumming and dancing tours with students and other members of the Australian community, he invites them to experience the culture of his country of birth. The visitors will be able to develop their drumming and dancing skills with guidance from local drum and dance masters.

Bortier is passionate about the profound history and importance of the drum, the messages that it sends and the ability it has to change and enrich people’s lives.

Master drummer with roots in Africa

With extraordinary musical gifts and exciting innovations as composer, master drummer, dancer, multi-instrumentalist and singer, Bortier Okoe is one of Africa’s inspirational musicians.

Revered as one of the most electrifying talents in the African music genres, Bortier performs his songs in English, and his native languages of Ga, Twi, and Ewe from Ghana, West Africa. Intense and intricate rhythms blend traditional kpalogo drums, djembe, kora, and balafone with brilliant vocals, guitar riffs, and horn lines - creating a new musical force brought to you by Bortier and his band—connecting with audiences and inspiring even the most reserved listener to get up, dance and sing.

From high level poly-rhythms through to slow, passionate grooves, Bortier sings messages of peace, anti-poverty, connections, resilience, and tolerance—communicating across boundaries and countries. Unifying lyrics convey strong messages for humanity. With power, warmth, a sense of humour, and exhilarating and dynamic performances, Bortier’s music is unique, irresistible, and makes a significant contribution to World Music.

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The birth and work of African Soul

On moving to Australia in 2009 Bortier created African Soul. The overriding vision that Bortier has, is to use African Soul as vehicle for bringing African music and culture to Adelaide, Australia and the world.

Bortier tours regularly and extensively throughout Australia performing, presenting workshops as well as facilitating drumming and dance retreats with community groups and enthusiasts. Through his work as a musician he shares his culture with hundreds of schools, businesses and individuals. He is a popular and sought after teacher; he has taught hundreds of students in Australia, throughout Ghana and around the world.

Through African Soul he regularly cooperates with government funded arts enterprises to create and develop new artistic projects. Bortier also works extensively in the corporate sector where he helps with team building and motivating company employees.