The Mirror Lifestyle Content

Esther Kisseh’s big day at Jazz Foundation launch
Esther Kisseh (left) live on stage at +233

Esther Kisseh’s big day at Jazz Foundation launch

When the founding members of the Ghana Jazz Foundation (GJF) indicated they would present a saxophone to a young player at the launch of the organisation on January 7, 2024 during the Jazz In January Festival at the +233 Jazz Bar & Grill in Accra, many in the audience wondered who could be the lucky beneficiary.


Well, it turned out to be Esther Nyamekye Kisseh, a Level 200 music student at the University of Education at Winneba. She received a tenor saxophone donated by Remy Veerman of Remy Saxophone Repair Shop in the Netherlands.

The GJF is a coming together of Jazz lovers and  musicians to help enhance the live music scene in Accra and across Ghana and also work out ways to raise resources for the benefit of musicians. 

Ms Kisseh came to the attention of the Jazz Foundation when she attended a workshop in November 2023 at the +233 Jazz Bar & Grill facilitated by Goethe Institut Ghana.

The workshop, which attracted dozens of young saxophonists from Accra and Tema, was led by German saxophonist Stephanie Lottermoser and Bernard Ayisa, a saxophone player with the GHJazz Collective and a founder member of the GJF.

Impressed with her serious approach to the saxophone, Bernard Ayisa pencilled her down as a talent deserving encouragement and that was why the GJF worked to get her the tenor saxophone from the Netherlands.

“I’m grateful to the Jazz Foundation and also to trombonist Eli Amewode for spurring me on to be at the workshop. He always whips up my interest in music and the saxophone,” Ms Kisseh said.  

She had the chance to play with some of the festival’s headline acts, including GHJazz Collective and American saxophonist Jeff Kashiwa after the saxophone presentation and she held her own quite well.  

“I was initially nervous playing with all those highly experienced guys but I managed to regain my composure and got along fine. I was excited for the opportunity to be on stage with such first-rate instrumentalists and trust it was the beginning of greater things to come my way as a saxophonist.”

 Esther Kisseh (left) receiving her saxophone at the Ghana Jazz Foundation launch

The Jazz Foundation’s President, Dr Adrian Oddoye, said it was formed in 2023. He added that they were committed to using innovative and strategic methods to connect local talents to the African Diaspora and global sister institutions.

The promotion of music literacy in Ghana and the establishment in the long term, of a centre where people could study Jazz and other forms of popular music are included in the GJF’s goals, according to Bernard Ayisa. 

The President of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) Bessa Simons, also said at the launch that the Foundation’s activities would help improve the quality of music played here and enable better networking for Ghanaian musicians. 

Dutch diplomat, Katja Lasseur and pianist Victor Dey Jr of the GHJazz Collective are the other two founder members of the Ghana Jazz Foundation.

Connect With Us : 0242202447 | 0551484843 | 0266361755 | 059 199 7513 |

Like what you see?

Hit the buttons below to follow us, you won't regret it...