PORTLAND, Ore. — Drummer and composer Obo Addy has died in Portland, Ore. He was 76.
Addy’s wife, Susan, confirmed that Addy died Thursday. She said he had been in hospice care with liver cancer.
The Oregonian reported that Addy was the son of a West African medicine man and was given the designation of “master drummer” at the age of 6. He built a career playing in numerous bands that blended Western pop with traditional African sounds.
In 1978, he moved to the United States and settled in Portland.
In 1986, Addy and his wife founded Homowo African Arts and Cultures, later renaming it the Obo Addy Legacy Project. It focuses on “creating, performing and teaching African arts.”
Addy continued to tour and perform and joined the staff at Lewis and Clark College, where he taught music.
In 1996, the National Endowment for the Arts named Addy a National Heritage Fellow.