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The GHJazz Collective
The GHJazz Collective

GHJazz Collective for South Africa

The GHJazz Collective, a quartet of some of Ghana’s finest instrumentalists, will leave Accra on Sunday, June 23, for South Africa to participate in this year’s edition of the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape Province.


Considered by many as one of the largest and liveliest cultural events in the world, the festival is scheduled for June 25 to June 30. Programmes cover a wide range of arts, including Theatre, Dance, Music, Visual Arts and Film.

The GHJazz Collective comprises Bernard Ayisa (saxophone), Gaddiel Amoah (bass), Frank Kissi (drums) and Victor Dey Jr. (Piano). 

The band will play at the festival on June 25 and June 29 and hold workshops for young South African musicians between those dates.

According to saxophonist Ayisa, they will play predominantly original music that has a lot of Ghanaian rhythmic flavours at the festival. 

Their maturely arranged and executed pieces like ‘Nana Fre Me’, ‘Tatale’ and ‘Toboli’  have enthralled  fans at their live shows here, and it is the band’s estimation that more people outside of our shores must also hear them. 

The saxophonist studied music at the University of Kwazulu Natal in the late 1990s and played at the Grahamstown festival during his student days.  He said he called organisers of the festival and told them he would like to come and perform this year with his colleagues from Ghana. 

“They were excited that a former student of South Africa’s music education system was keen to return and showcase his professionalism with his friends from Ghana, and contribute something to the upbringing of young Jazz musicians in South Africa, “ Ayisa pointed out. 

“South Africa  has a great  music  education programme, including Jazz,  in most of the universities so most of the students who feature in the youth component of the festival are  from the universities. Almost all the professionals who take part are also university graduates.”

Pianist Victor Dey Jr. also had a taste of South Africa’s National Arts Festival last year when he featured with South African trumpeter, Marcus Wyatt’s band.  The festival has been held since 1974.

The GHJazz Collective  will give their fans in Accra  a taste of what they are taking to South Africa at a concert at the +233 Jazz Bar & Grill at North Ridge tonight, June 22. 

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