It is Victor Dey on piano

BY: Kouame Koulibaly

He is a competent all-round musician but keyboardist Victor  Dey is often in his real element when the music on hand  is jazz  where improvisation plays a key part.

Music lovers that have heard him play at various joints in Accra such as  Labadi Beach Hotel, Alliance Francaise, Chez Afrique, Alisa Hotel, Fiesta Royal Hotel or at the +233 Jazz Bar and Grill always admire his brilliance on the keyboard.

To such admirers, it was not surprising that Victor Dey was adjudged the Intstrumentalist of the Year at at this year’s Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA).

Whether playing with his Sound Factree or the Patch Bay band led by his friend Philip Acquah,the level of intensity is the same as his fingers swiftly roam over the keyboards, eliciting enchanting sounds.

Experienced saxophonist, Ray Allen who plays quite often with Victor, describes him as “a wizard on the  piano with a great future ahead of him.”

Though his colleague musicians and jazz lovers in the nation’s capital praise him regularly, the soft-spoken Victor takes it all in his stride, determined not to allow the compliments to go to his head 

Though Victor is conversant with nearly all forms of popular music,  he says he loves jazz best it offers him room to constantly explore new ideas and express them on his instrument.

Victor started learning to play the piano at an early age but it was during his days at Achimota School in Accra that the feeling gripped him to make something useful out of that talent.

He played in various youth bands with friends such as Rocky Dawuni and Yoofi Brew and kept learning along the way.

The keyboardist later attended the famous Berklee College of Music in the United States which is generally regarded as the Mecca of jazz education in the world.

Apart from his solid reputation as a fine accompanist, Dey is  also a good arranger and composer. His song, ‘Little Miss Danielle’ which has the swing of big band highlife, was recorded by saxophonist, Bernard Ayisa on his ‘Gbee’ album.

With his keen sense of commitment to music, one can always be assured that this country will never run short of brilliant instrumentalists.

Previous winners of the Instrumentalist of the Year honour at the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards include guitarist Akablay; trumpeter Osei Tutu; bassist Emmanuel ‘Shabo’ Koomson and keyboardist Kwame Yeboah.