Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

Arts and Entertainment

Videos: Highland Park's Legendary Xylophone Player

Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.

Highland Park has its very own master xylophone player, and he's got a show coming up later this month.

SK Kakraba is an amazing xylophone player—"the world's greatest" says LA Weekly. Before residing in Highland Park, he lived in a small village called Saru in Ghana where the Lobi tribe holds the xylophone in high regard. There, it's called the gyil, and it's played at funerals to help the souls of the dead reach the afterlife. According to Kakraba, you can't have a funeral without one.

The Lobi make the instruments out of wood found in the forests of Ghana. Kakraba's parents were gyil players, as was his uncle and other relatives before them. Kakraba, who has released albums and toured the world playing the gyil, met an American woman in Accra while teaching at a university and the two married in 2011.

Kakraba releases his third album, Yonye, next month and has a performance at the Getty Center on June 26.

Support for LAist comes from