It is said that the only universal language in this world is music. It is one thing that is widely accepted and understood. No matter the origin, the finest tune of instruments, words and rhythm would send one to his or her feet to dance to it.
This has been the ideals of the US Navy Band, as they tour the Gulf of Guinea, playing and learning from different cultures, some music to entertain their audience. Residents of Sekondi-Takoradi were entreated to several music genres; from jazz, samba, to afro-centric music on Sunday at the Sekondi Youth Center, in an outstanding performance from the band.
Chief Musician First Class, Joseph Schoonmaker says their tour affords them an opportunity to strengthen relations with Ghana and other countries, and well learn and share cultures.
“We looking to build on the partnerships that the US has with several countries along the Gulf of Guinea. We have a medical team, members of the US Coast Guard, Law enforcement, and we are sharing ideas, working on best practices and building our connections and partnerships. But then we also have the band…and what we trying to do is basically make people happy, connect people through music” he said.
Mr. Schoonmaker added that “sometimes they go to countries where we don’t speak the language but they always speak music. So we use music to connect with people on a very human level”
He also stressed that their experience in Ghana has been overwhelming. He noted that Ghanaians are very generous.
“…the warmth and friendliness of the people is almost overwhelming. The generosity…its not like any other culture in the world. When you come to Ghana, Nigeria everyone is saying welcome, welcome” Mr Schoonmaker stressed.