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Edmund John Collins

Professor, Department of Music, University of Ghana

E. John Collins has been active in the Ghanaian/West African music scene since 1969 as a guitarist, band leader, music union activist, journalist, writer and archivist. He obtained his B.A. degree in sociology/archaeology from the University of Ghana in 1972 and his Ph.D in Ethnomusicology from SUNY Buffalo in 1994. Collins has given many radio and television broadcasts (including over 40 for the BBC) and has been a consultant for numerous films on African music. During the 1990’s Collins was Technical Director of the University of Ghana/Mainz Music Re-documentation Project, and for seven years was with the Ghana National Folklore Board of Trustees. Collins began teaching at the Music Department of the University of Ghana in 1995, obtained a Full Professorship there in 2002 and between 2003 and 2005 he was the head of Department. He naturalised as a Ghanaian in 2008. He is currently on post-retirement contract with the university and the manager of Bokoor Recording Studio, Chairman of the BAPMAF Highlife-Music Institute, a patron of the Ghana Musicians Union (MUSIGA) and co-founder of the Local Dimension highlife band. He is also the author of the seminal text on the history of music in Ghana.


  • –present
    Professor, Department of Music, University of Ghana