By John Owoo
(In Accra – Ghana)
The city of Accra was over the weekend turned into a jazz groove with performances in diverse venues during the celebration of International Jazz Day.
Goethe-Institut, Alliance Française, +233 Jazz Bar & Grill, Virtual Hub and Gallery Jazz Lounge among others, hosted magnetic shows that affirmed the unifying power of jazz while highlighting the growing interest in jazz among Ghanaians.
Ghanaian bassist Bright Osei alongside Anthony Ansah, David Miyilor and Nicholas Mettle turned the Goethe-Institut into a jazz den with a brilliant mix of standard jazz, traditional and modern sounds as well as pop and funk that provided patrons with a new interpretation of jazz music.
They charmed the near capacity crowd with solos that were remarkable and formidable – indeed, they proved the fact that they are fully in love with music through effective communication and coordination while sustaining the attention of the audience.
With a remarkable positive energy, Osei who has just returned from a performance tour of Europe, dished out intimate and focused bass lines that resulted in unforced natural sounds and rhythms inundating the stage at the Institut.
Employing old analogue and modern soft synthesizers, drum pads and some local percussions, the “Three O” band led by multi-instrumentalist Kwame Yeboah, mesmerized another capacity audience at the Alliance Française in a concert that formed part of the Société Général Jazz Festival.
Showcasing his brand of ethno-jazz vividly blended with highlife and electronic music, Yeboah and the trio equally surprised the audience with Yeboah’s peculiar arrangements that definitely brought a new tang and evolution to jazz music.
Confident and focused on stage, the group proved the fact that jazz is not an intellectual theorem but rather a feeling that was clearly indicated by the capacity audience, which included a good number of young Ghanaian and foreign nationals.
GH Jazz Collective, which comprise piano maestro Victor Dey among others, lighted up + 233 Jazz Bar & Grill while singer Yomi Sower as well as the Accra String Quartet enchanted patrons at the Virtual Hub. Gallery Jazz Lounge equally treated jazz lovers with tunes from the jazz collection of its founder Yaw Safori alongside an art exhibition.
Established by UNESCO in 2011 at the initiative of Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock, and recognized by the United Nations General Assembly, International Jazz Day brings together countries and communities worldwide every April 30.