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Sol Amarfio, drummer and founding member of Osibisa, dies at 84



Sol Amarfio, a world-renowned drummer and a founding member of the band Osibisa, has passed away.

He was 84. According to reports, he died on Tuesday, December 13.

The acting President of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) confirmed his death to Graphic Showbiz on Wednesday, December 14.


Nicknamed The Rhythm Man in his teenage years, the self-taught Amarfio travelled the world with Osibisa. His immaculate sense of rhythm was the driving force behind the band’s infectious music.

Also a composer, Amarfio is praised for his Woyaya song and he closely collaborated with other members of Osibisa to create some of the band’s most endearing tracks.

Born at Asere in Accra in 1938, Amarfio was part of the Rhythm Aces, Star Gazers and Comets bands in Ghana before going to England in 1961 via Liberia, Spain and France.

There, he teamed up with other London-based Ghanaian musicians such as George Lee and Willie Cheetham for gigs across Europe and North Africa before Osibisa was formed in 1969.


In 2018, the management of +233 held a concert to celebrate him when he turned 80 years.

“I do what comes naturally to me behind the drums. I don’t force out anything. I grew up with a lot of music and dance around me and the swing of those things sipped into me. Life is exciting when you travel and earn money while doing what you truly love,” Amarfio told Graphic Showbiz in an interview in 2018.


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