Ghana Jazz Foundation,a non-profit organisation that seeks to kindle and push further live jazz music and local crafts by means of educational programs, collaboration and uphold for musicians and live music venues in Ghana.
The launch took place in Accra on 6 January,2024 as part of events at the introductory edition of the Jazz in January Festival at the +233 Jazz Bar & Grill. The festival took session from January 4 to January 7.
As stated by Dr. Adrian Oddoye, the Foundation was established in 2023 through a partnership between Jazz enthusiasts and musicians. Its aim is to innovate resource pooling methods, revitalizing the live music landscape in Accra and nationwide in Ghana.
He expressed the GJF’s dedication to employing inventive and strategic approaches, aiming to link local talents with the African Diaspora and sister institutions worldwide. Moreover, the foundation will strive not solely for the enhancement of local musicians’ performances but also for their well-being, insurance coverage, and creative advancement.
Bernard Ayisa, a saxophonist and member of the GHJazz Collective and one of the founding members of the GJF, expressed gratitude to Dr. Oddoye for his dedication in initiating the organization. He highlighted that a fundamental concept of the Foundation is to advance music literacy within Ghana.He said;“What we lack in this country is musicians who can read music. So we want to help promote music literacy and establish in the long term, a centre where people could come and study Jazz and other forms of popular music,” Ayisa pointed out.
Victor Dey Jr., a founding member and pianist of the GHJazz Collective, supported Ayisa’s statements. He shared that he had been providing complimentary lessons to exceptionally talented young individuals who couldn’t afford his fees. Nonetheless, he believed this shouldn’t be limited to only a select few who knew him personally.He said; “I felt it would be a shame to let those talents go to waste. That’s why I teach them for free. I’m working on adapting existing theories and structures in music for the Ghanaian market so that musicians can readily understand how it is that music works and make themselves and us all much better.”
The objectives of the Foundation seem to align with the Musician’s Union of Ghana (MUSIGA), and its President, Bessa Simons, embraced the initiatives during the launch. He believed that the GJF’s objectives would enhance the caliber of music performances and facilitate improved networking opportunities for Ghanaian musicians.
Katja Lasseur, a Dutch diplomat, stands as another founding member of the GJF. During the event, the organization gifted an alto saxophone, donated by Remy Veerman of Remy Saxophone Repair Shop in the Netherlands, to Esther Nyamekye Kisseh, a music student at the University of Education in Winneba.