Ghanaian guitarist and bandleader Kyekyeku will host a seminar on project formation, touring and music festivals at Alliance Française d’Accra today, April 30. 

The seminar is courtesy of Muziki Nkomo and Alliance Française d’Accra. Now in its second edition, the annual workshop forms part of the activities to commemorate International Jazz Day, and will begin at 10am GMT.

The organisers say the event will serve as a forum for the local community of live bands, facilitating an exchange of ideas towards the possibility of getting local bands and music projects to “command more interests, invitation and obtain the tools to succeed in a tight environment”.

“In the last few years, there has been a near boom in band formations in Ghana, with most looking for avenues to have a wider reach and experience with performance,” Kyekyeku, who leads the highlife band Super Opong Stars said. “Having worked around live circuits from the days when there were very few young bands, I realise it is very easy to get lost and misinformed on what is out there and even within.”

He added: “In the seminar, we shall be exploring the interests of some of the newly formed bands, what dynamics existed on the scene and how those may change in the face of the pandemic and the importance of knowledge sharing within the live and touring music circuits. We will hear stories and dreams of bands and I will attempt to provide knowledge from my experience of surfing the music scene within Ghana Africa and European tour circuits and how Ghanaian bands can better place themselves to explore their potential in these spaces.”

The seminar arrives ahead of Super Opong Stars’ debut album, which was recorded at the studios of German label Philophon’s Joy Sound Studio. The project adds to the two collections from Kyekyeku’s previous projects.

“The album is inspired by the Akan saying, ‘Apese ye Kese a, oye ma dufokyie,’ which translates to ‘the well being of the pangolin bodes well for a dead log’,” Kyekyeku said. “The album writing started before we had the pandemic, but its shape got defined during the lockdowns and is a reminder of our bizarre relationship with nature that has landed us in the worst pandemic ever.”

Kyekyeku says the upcoming project will serve as a reminder of “where we were, what we have done and what fun could be out there if we are positioned on the good side of society and nature.”

Fans can support Super Opong Stars’ crowdfunder for their forthcoming album via this link.

Mac Nuru

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