Oregon Music News: Oregon’s all-genre music magazine since 2009

12/31/2018

Chatta Addy, Portland musician, teacher dead at 58

By MICHAEL CONLEY // Long-time Portland musician Chata Addy, drummer, dancer and songwriter, died December 8th, 2018 of natural causes.

Writer Michael (Shoehorn) Conley played in Addy's bands. -- ED

Long-time Portland musician Chata Addy, drummer, dancer and songwriter, died December 8th, 2018 of natural causes. Born January 28th 1960, he had suffered a stroke about 5 years ago and was dealing with continuing adverse health effects as he rebuilt his band Susuma and continued his work performing for children in school and library programs and leading traditional drumming groups.

His uncle Yacub Addy brought him to the United States from Ghana in 1985 to play music with a traditional group called ODADAA. Chata Addy moved to Oregon in 1987 and joined another uncle, Obo Addy, (1936-2012)  who led a couple of bands in Oregon after touring internationally. The same year, 1987, he left his uncle’s band and went solo, composing songs and leading his own groups, and released the Afro-Reggae/High-life CD “Susuma”.

Addy is survived by four offspring, his eldest son Listowel Addy who lives in Germany, his daughter Rosemary Addy who lives in Ghana, and younger sons Kadren Addy and  Daniel Addy of Portland.

This writer had been playing with Chata Addy & Susuma for the last couple of years. Susuma is his Afro-Reggae/Highlife band, with 3 electric guitars, bass, drum set, 2  saxes, plus our leader on hand drums and vocals. The booking schedule was thin but we rehearsed weekly because we all believed in him and loved his original music.

He was a serious player and songwriter, but also a very light-hearted individual who never lost his playful attitude- something any child recognized at our shows, which were mostly in schools and community events. "Do you want to see your teachers dance?" he would ask, to the kids' delight, and it was nearly impossible for any of the teachers to opt out, because he was so charming and made it look easy. And it was easy. He made it so for the kids as well, masterfully teaching them simple rhythms on his own set of congas and sundry percussion instruments as the band vamped behind them. It was thrilling for all of us and we all loved him.

Further details need to be set, but there will be at least one show in his memory and efforts are ongoing to raise money for his funeral. His cousin OB Addy is handling his affairs at this point. We are a bit numb and sad of course. We as a band want his music to live on in the community he called home for over half of his life.

Here is a link to his cdbaby music store where you can buy downloads or CDs:

https://store.cdbaby.com/Artist/ChataAddySusuma

http://chataaddy.com/

 

 

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