PORTLAND, Ore. – Drummer and composer Obo Addy has died at the age of 76. His wife, Susan, confirmed that Addy, who had been in hospice care with liver cancer, died here Thursday.

Addy was the son of a West African medicine man and earned the designation of “master drummer” at age 6. He played in numerous bands that blended Western pop with traditional African sounds. In 1978, he moved to the U.S., settling in Portland.

Addy was co-founder of the Obo Addy Legacy Project. It focuses on “creating, performing and teaching African arts.”

In 1996, the National Endowment for the Arts named Addy a National Heritage Fellow.