From Diaspora

Ghana’s Shadrack “Shaddy” Oppong earns spotlight behind the drums at the 20th Panama Jazz Festival!

As part of only four drummers accepted into Berklee College of Music’s exclusive Masters program known as the “Berklee Global Jazz Institute” for the 2022-2023 academic year, Ghana’s Shadrack “Shaddy” Oppong has been scaling heights ever since!

In a latest update on his experiences gathered so far, the Ghanaian power-drumming enigma has found himself thrilling thousands at the world renowned Panama Jazz Festival which took place from the 16th to 21st of January 2023 at the Ciudad del Saber as its educational venue.

Shaddy, who participated as a renowned drum artist, shared stages with mega names in the world of jazz music including Cuban pianist Chucho Valdes; singer Catherine Russell (daughter of Panamanian native pioneer of jazz Luis Russell); Children of the Light featuring bassist John Patitucci, drummer Brian Blade and pianist Danilo Perez; Latin pop star singer-songwriter (of the global sensational song “Despacito”) Erika Ender, master drummer from Cuba Roman Diaz; and the all-star ensemble Global Jazz Womxn featuring Israeli sax player Lihi Haruvi.

Other artists that performed on the night were Proyecto Acustico from El Salvador and distinguished national projects such as the Luis Russell Collective, Hijas del Jazz Big Band, Anthony Morris Kuna Jazz Quintet, Panamanian folk star Celsito Quintero, Idania Dowman and Gilberto Santa Rosa who closed the show.

It was a week of enriching concerts highlighting the great gala night held at the Anayansi Theater in Atlapa Convention Center on Wednesday, January 18, 2023.

picture with the “Children of the Light” – from the left (Brian Blade – drummer, Shaddy, Danilo Perez – pianist and John Patitucci – bass)

The Panama Jazz Festival’s signature educational events happened at the City of Knowledge and hosted distinguished institutions such as Berklee College of Music and the Berklee Global Jazz Institute of which Shaddy put up a sterling performance while sharing knowledge & experiences gathered in his years of drumming in 2 masterclasses with students and patrons.

It also hosted the New England Conservatory, and New York Jazz Academy, among others. The Festival celebrated the 11th Latin American Music Therapy Symposium bringing together music therapists from Panama, Chile, the United States, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, among other countries.

Founded in September 2003 by pianist and Grammy winner Danilo Pérez, Panama Jazz Festival which has spanned a period of 20 years witnessed the mastery of big names in the game perform to an audience of over 60,000 music lovers.

This is only a testament to the unparalleled laurels awaiting the young chap who took a step of faith to walk on water all the way from Obuasi to Boston with nothing but a dream, a persevering spirit and an incredible talent!

Get interactive with Shadrack “Shaddy” Oppong across his social media platforms on FacebookInstagram and Subscribe to his YouTube channel also to be updated on his new drum video uploads.

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Emmanuel Ghansah, Ghana Music

Singer, Songwriter, scriptwriter, blogger, lover of the creative arts, brands and communications expert.

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