Koo Nimo (born Kwabena Boa-Amponsem on 3 October 1934, baptized Daniel Amponsah) is a leading folk musician of Palm wine music or Highlife music from Ghana.
Born in the village of Foase, in the Atwima District of the Ashanti Region in Ghana, West Africa, he worked in various jobs in science and medical-related field while maintaining his interest in music. Apart from his early exposure to music by his parents and playing in local groups, Nimo also studied classical guitar style, harmony and counterpoint, among others, at various times, to enhance his musical appreciation.
Although a great consumer of jazz music — from Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, Wes Montgomery and Count Basie to Antonio Carlos Jobim, Lorendo Almeida and Thelonius Monk, Nimo is said to have drawn inspiration first from Ghanaian guitarist, Kwabena Onyina.
In 1957, when the former British colony of the Gold Coast became the independent country of Ghana, Koo Nimo first received national acclaim through the formation of the Addadam Agofomma ensemble.
Many of his songs tell traditional stories and are sung in the language Twi. Along with one or two guitars and vocals, the traditional Ashanti palmwine ensemble consists of traditional instruments of West Africa.
This single, recorded at Ghana Film studios, and released on the Ghana Film label was probably released in 1974. The A side ‘Koo Nimo Ne Gyasi’ is a tribute to Koo Nimo’s first wife who passed away on September 27, 1973 The B side ‘Kofi Gemfi III’ is a tribute to a Mr. Kofi Gemfi, a friend who Koo Nimo greatly admired.
In 1979, in recognition of his services to Ghanaian music as performer, teacher and administrator, Koo Nimo was elected President of MUSIGA (the Musicians' Union of Ghana). His countrymen appreciated not only his music, but his love of and respect for tradition.
In 1985 Koo Nimo was appointed interim chairman of COSGA, the Copyright Society of Ghana, More recently he has been made an honorary life member of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music, along with such distinguished names as Professor J.H.K. Nketia and John Collins.
In 1990, eight of Koo's songs were released as a compact disk entitled Osabarima. This was the first work by a Ghanaian artist to be put on CD in the words of High Fidelity Magazine (September 1990, 103). In February 1991, in recognition of his services to music and to his country, Koo received the prestigious Asanteman award from the Asantehene. In March, he received the Flagstar Award from ECRAG (Entertainment Critics and Reviewers Association of Ghana). In 1991, he was invited to serve on the National Folklore Board of Trustees.
He has over 100 songs to his credit and among the few albums released are Ashanti Ballads (1968); Osabarima (1990, re-issued 2000) and Tete Wobi Ka (2000). Nimo’s music has been described as “A pulsating mix of melodious and intoxicating guitar patterns, harmonious vocals, and mesmerising percussion.
In January 1992, at Columbia University, New York, USA, Andrew L. Kaye presented his dissertation entitled "Koo Nimo and his circle: A Ghanaian Musician in Ethnomusicological Perspective" and was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree for his work.
His retirement from the University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana, as the chief laboratory technician in 1994 has enabled him to concentrate on his achievements.
In March 1997, the Ghana government celebrated the fortieth anniversary of independence by awarding gold medals to forty of its distinguished citizens, one of whom was Koo Nimo. This was in recognition of his efforts to preserve traditional culture. In the next month he received the Konkoma Award for his contribution to Ghanaian Highlife Music.
In 1998, he was employed as a Professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of Washington in Seattle, USA, for two years, before taking a similar position at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. As of 2006, Koo Nimo has moved back to Ghana and is currently living in Kumasi. (Info various mainly Wikipedia)