The Embassy of the United States of America is hosting the First Annual National Jazz Workshops at Alliance Francaise Accra on Saturday May 12, 2018. This event will offer free workshops on bass, piano, drumming, saxophone, improvisation, music business, and jazz style which will be held from 2pm – 5:30pm.

Presenters include pianist Victor Dey Jr. who has been featured on CNN, drum set player Frank Kissi, who was Ghana’s 2014 Instrumentalist of the Year, saxophonist Bernard Ayisa – a P. Mauriat artist, Bassist Bright Osei, and award-winning saxophonist Prof. Benjamin Boone.

Benjamin Boone is serving as a U.S. Fulbright Scholar to Ghana this year, and has been teaching Music Theory, Music Analysis, Music Composition, and Jazz Studies at the University of Ghana’s Department of Music since August 2017. His home institution is California State University, Fresno, where he has received the Provost Award for Excellence in Teaching, the President’s Award of Excellence, the Provost Award for Outstanding Achievement in Research, Scholarship and Creative Activities, and the University Faculty Spirit of Service Award.

His music has garnered national and international honors and awards from organizations such as the International Society of Contemporary Music, the Olympia International Prize for Composition, Billboard  Magazine, the National Association of Composers, New Music USA, The American Music Center, and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. His works appear on twenty-six CDs and have been performed in over twenty-seven countries and at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Disney Hall.

Boone said, “I am a member of the Vivivi Studio WhatsApp group and I heard many of them speak of a desire for more educational opportunities for musicians in Ghana, I saw this first-hand when I gave a workshop on jazz saxophone with Bernard Ayisa at the University of Ghana. People from Kumasi, Cape Coast and other places came from far away because they were eager to learn more about jazz”.

Professor John Collins, the leading expert on Ghanaian Popular Music and author of numerous books on the subject, will speak about the ongoing positive connections between the U.S. and Ghana as embodied in the musical cross-fertilization that continually occurs between these cultures in his lecture “Jazz and Africa: The Round Trip” at 5:30 PM.

 

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