Blow Mac Blow – Tribute to Mac Tontoh

The Late Mac Tontoh

He was full of energy and reinforced this assertion with every single performance. For Mac Tontoh, the size of the stage or audience did not matter, once he held his trumpet he became animated, and predictably let out sweet melodies.

Big Mac was a legend. He thoroughly enjoyed his art and his brilliant performances earned him loyal fans amongst all age groups across the globe. For the uninitiated Mac was a founding member of the legendary Osibisa Group.

Some three years ago Big Mac gave me a very special treat. Together with Gyedu Blay-Ambolley, he performed at a gathering which included music lovers such as Ambassador Kabral Blay-Amihere, Baba Abdulai, Dr. Doris Yaa Dartey, ACP Angwubutoge Awuni, Bright Blewu and Prof. Kwasi Ampene of the University of Colorado’s, College of Music.

On that occasion, my 44th Birthday, Mac played me the sweetest happy birthday song I’ve ever heard, and went on to play some evergreen Osibisa tunes. And as always, his performance on and off the stage was captivating. He was a joy to watch and hear, and his abundant energy was there for all to see and feel. You should have seen Kabral and Bright respond to Mac’s performance with some very wonderful dance moves. It was a fun-filled and refreshing evening.

Mac followed up his stage performance with an interesting account of the exploits of the Osibisa group. We got to know about the group’s encounter with the great Frank Sinatra, who Mac told us gave Osibisa the ‘Coffee’ song; this was after Frank had heard the group perform. He was blown away by what he heard. Mac told us all about the travels and the role of the late Kiki Gyan and other interesting stories about the group.

Coming up shortly is special media program at the Ghana International Press Centre in honour of Mac Tontoh, titled “Blow Mac Blow”. There’ll be a Sax performance by Kwaku Sakyi-Addo and Gyedu Blay-Ambolley as a tribute to the legend. Kabral Blay-Amihere and Baba Abdulai have also started rehearsing their Guitar skills as they plan to play tribute tunes.

On behalf of all your loyal fans scattered around the world, I say “Blow Mac Blow”. Big brother, I pray the Good Lord grants you eternal rest.
By Peter S.M. Agbeko

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