Bernard Ayisa, saxophonist based in Accra, started playing when he was already 16 years old. Now he has become one of the leading saxophone players in Ghana and Africa. He spent his childhood and youth in South Africa where he was taught by fellow P. Mauriat artist Dusty Cox and prof. Darius Brubeck. Under the guidance of the latter, Bernard toured in US and Germany with the student/staff band of the University of Natal, Durban, South Africa. He also was member of the South African Youth Big Band of Mike Campbell which took him touring in the US.
After graduating he moved from Durban to Johannesburg to play with renowned musicians like Andile Yenana and Feya Faku. He recorded with Ernie Smith there as well and continued touring locations like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Scotland, Rumania, Malaysia, Zimbabwe, Qatar (…) In 2013 he decided to come home to Ghana with a big dream: develop a Ghanaian Jazz Voice, a style unique to Ghana.
In Ghana he met with Victor Dey Jr. whom he immediately identified as ideal partner to team up with to realise his goal. Of course Dey was willing to play ball ! The result is that an exciting Jazz scene has developed and continues to grow in Accra under the wings of the leading pair.
You can find him every week on Tuesday nights at the +233 Jazz Bar and Grill in Accra where he plays with the Frank Kissi Electric Band featuring - apart from band leader and drummer Frank Kissi - Bright Osei on bass, Victor Dey Jr. on Keyboard and Joseph Bannor on percussion.
Special guests as singer Sandra Huson, Nicolas Genest and many others regularly join the band. After the break the stage is open for emerging talents, like trumpet player Peter Somuah and guitar player Napoleon Nartey, and established artists like trombone player Elikplim Amewode and drummer Dani Black to come and jam.
He often supports visiting jazz artists with the Ghana Jazz Collective band - Dutch trumpet player Teus Nobel, US sax player Seth Trachy, French trumpet player Nicolas Genest, South African trumpet player Marcus Wyatt, US bass player Tony DePaolis, US guitar player Barry Finnerty … to name a few.
The Dey-Ayisa band has often been the residential band at the yearly Stanbic Jazz festival in Accra. If he is around - as in not travelling - and you are in Accra and want to check him out, you cannot miss him!!
Bernard endorses P. Mauriat - http://www.pmauriatmusic.com/en/artists/artist/106-bernard-ayisa. Show less
Bernard has taught and keeps on teaching many musicians who want to hone their skills as Jazz musician and
The US embassy is funding yearly jazz workshops taking him to Ghana cities like Kumasi, Cape Coast, Takoradi etc apart
from Capital Accra. The 2018 workshops, the first of hopefully a long series of workshops facilitated by the US Embassy,
were lead by Ben Boone, renowned US jazz composer and sax player.
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