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Ambrose Adekoya Campbell

(1919-2006), Singer, guitarist, percussionist, composer and bandleader

Sitter in 1 portrait
Born into a Christian family in Lagos, Nigeria, Ambrose sang in the church choir from an early age where his father was a Minister. Later, he began performing palm-wine music and was ostracised by his family. Sometime after leaving home, he met guitarist Brewster Hughes in Lagos and performed with him in the Jolly Boys Orchestra. Campbell's first big break came when he performed at the VE Day celebrations in London's Piccadilly and Trafalgar Square with his band in 1945. He formed Britain's first black band, West African Rhythm Brothers, who provided music for theatre performances by Les Ballets Nègres. During the 1950s he worked with British jazz musicians, touring the UK and the US, where he lived for thirty years.

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Ambrose Adekoya Campbell, by Harry Borden - NPG x128633

Ambrose Adekoya Campbell

by Harry Borden
chromogenic print, 6 January 2006
NPG x128633


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