Ebo Taylor

Ebo Taylor (born 1936) is a Ghanaian guitarist, composer, bandleader, producer and arranger focusing on highlife and afrobeat music.


Born in 1936, Ebo Taylor has been a vital figure on the Ghanaian music scene for over six decades. In the late ’50s he was active in the influential highlife bands the Stargazers and the Broadway Dance Band. In 1962, Taylor took his own group, the Black Star Highlife Band, to London, which led to collaborations with Nigerian afrobeat star Fela Kuti as well as other African musicians in Britain at the time. Returning to Ghana, he worked as a producer, crafting recordings for Pat Thomas, C.K. Mann, and others, as well as exploring his own projects, combining traditional Ghanaian material with afrobeat, jazz, and funk rhythms to create his own recognizable sound in the ’70s.

Taylor’s work became popular internationally with hip-hop producers in the 21st century. In 2008, Ebo Taylor met the Berlin-based musicians of the Afrobeat Academy band, including saxophonist Ben Abarbanel-Wolff, which led to the release of the album Love and Death with Strut Records (his first internationally distributed album). In 2009, Usher used a sample from Taylor’s song “Heaven” for “She Don’t Know.”

The success of Love and Death prompted Strut to issue the retrospective Life Stories: Highlife & Afrobeat Classics 1973-1980, in the spring of 2011. A year later, in 2012, a third Strut album, Appia Kwa Bridge, was released. Appia Kwa Bridge showed that even at 77 years old, Taylor was still intensely creative and focused, mixing traditional Fante songs and chants with children’s rhymes and personal matters into his own sharp vision of highlife.



  • Appia Kwa Bridge (Strut Records) 2012
  • “Life Stories: Best of Ebo Taylor 1973-80” (Strut Records) 2012
  • Love And Death (Strut Records) 2010
  • Abenkwan Puchaa (Essiebons) 2009
  • Ebo Taylor, Pat Thomas (3), Uhuru Yenzu – Hitsville Re-Visited (LP) (Essiebons) 1982
  • Ebo Taylor & Uhuru Yenzu – Conflict (Essiebons) 1980
  • Ebo Taylor & Saltpond Barkers Choir – Me Kra Tsie (LP) (Essiebons) 1979
  • Twer Nyame (Philips-West African-Records) 1978
  • Ebo Taylor (Essiebons) 1977
  • My Love And Music (LP) (Gapophone Records) 1976

Contributing artist

The Rough Guide To Psychedelic Africa (World Music Network) 2012

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