Alaba Pedro, a musician who has played in various High Life bands over the years and composed hit songs for a number of legendary Nigerian master musicians is dead. He died yesterday aboard an Arik flight on the New York-Lagos route. Pedro played the guitar and he had a mastery of Afro – diasporic styles of music especially the textural grooves that reigned in the 1960s and 70s.
The 72 year old musician was until his death a member of the Faaji Agba musical group led by Pa Fatai Rolling Dollar. He travelled with the group on a musical tour of the United States of America which lasted for one week. He however died about two hour into the flight to Lagos from New York.
Fatai Rolling Dollar who spoke on the group’s arrival at the Murtala Mohammed Airport disclosed that Pedro was discovered to have been very weak while they were leaving their hotel for the airport. He also pointed out that the airline crew asked if the late musician would be able to make the flight and he insisted that he could. But after about an hour into the flight, the late Pedro was said to have had breathing difficulties and he started panting for breath.
Pa Rolling Dollar said some of the medical personnel on board made frantic efforts to save him but all efforts proved futile. He disclosed that the late Pedro had been sick for some time and that he and other members of the band kept warning him of his high rate of consumption of alcohol while in the US.
He is scheduled to be buried on August 5.