By John Owoo
(In Accra – Ghana)
Goethe-Institut Ghana last week offered a cybernetic platform to GHjazz Collective in a bid to satisfy the demand by musicians and audiences for live-music in the midst of restrictions aimed at containing Covid 19.
Performing at the premises of the Institut in Accra without an appreciative / cheering audience, the group showcased a vivid fusion of traditional Ghanaian elements with jazz that was characterized by refined improvisations and pitch-bending harmonies alongside infectious rhythms.
With Bernard Ayisa (saxophone), Victor Dey (keyboard), Frank Kissi (drums) and Bright Osei (bass), the quartet performed with intense passion revealing in the process a superlative artistry, an alluring stage presence and compositions that are stamped by emotional power and sensitivity.
Alongside a rich repertoire comprising “Friends With Benefits”, “Highlife Suite”, “Mr. P.K. Ambrose” (Victor Dey), “Spur of the Moment” (Bruce Winston) and “Human Intent (Max Von Broch), the group exhibited high professionalism through compositions characterized by climaxes of wide-ranging sounds.
The performance, which will be shared on the website of Goethe-Institut Ghana as well as other Instituts and their social media outlets, also forms part of a move by the Institut in Ghana to assist artists migrate to the digital world as part of strategies to survive Covid 19 and its attendant restrictions.
Indeed, the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the cancellation and postponement of arts events while social distancing and quarantines have made live music shows all but impossible at this time when music is truly needed to help curb anxiety, stress and depression.
Notwithstanding the limitations, a number of musicians including many who have released albums and were preparing to embark on performance tours have also performed on social media platforms while interacting with their fans.
In spite of reservations about the longevity of the live stream boom, experts predict a rosy picture of concerts in the digital space in the future. Whatever the situation, a loyal audience will be critical for sustainable online performances.