Ghanaian Highlife saxophonist Jerry Hansen was born in Bekwai, Kumasi in 1927. Whilst studying at Accra Academy, Hansen become attracted to music by the way of America great such as Duke Ellington and Glen Miller.
In the 50s he joined Teacher Lamptey’s Accra Orchestra (formed in 1930) and then, moved on to join the Black Beats highlife band 2 years later with King Bruce and Saka Acquaye (Frank Crofie included) as the resident group of the Weekend-in-Havanna.
Hansen left the Black Beats 9 years later after much success to form his own Ramblers
highlife big-band helped by Habib Zakar, owner of the Metropole Club in Accra. The legendary Ramblers travelled to Benin, Gambia, Sierra Leone and Togo around the mid-sixties. This was also around the time the band had begun to release some of their classic numbers on the Decca label like ‘Work and Happiness’, ‘Ahomka Wom’ and ‘Ama Bonsu’.
Collins, J., 2018. Highlife Time 3. 3rd ed. Accra: DAkpabli & Associates.
Collins, J., 2017. Highlife Giants. Cassava Republic Press.
Oti, S., 2009. Highlife music in West Africa. Lagos, Nigeria: Malthouse Press.
Researched and Written by Paulina Nkansah