Tales:Emma and Stefano meet Bona

byemsd2.jpgAt the occasion of his concert in London the 30th of March, art activist Emma, and bassist Stefano, two fans of Bona, met the cameroonian bassist and vocalist. In this piece, they wanted to share this particular experience with us.  Still to come, as a bonus, a  great interview of Bona, by Emma & Stefano !

On a cloudy Sunday afternoon in London, we head to Camden Town…it does not often happen that two Italians are going to interview one of the hippest musicians of the jazz and world music scene, for a Cameroonian blog! Richard Bona, with his band, is playing a the Jazz Café in London. 

We arrive at the venue at 5 p.m: Bona’s fans are queuing at the doors, hoping to find the last tickets for the gig. We chat a little bit with some of them: Serge, half Cameroonian and half French who lives in London, Jessica from New York City who studies music in London, and a girl who came form Poland to see Richard. We have the feeling, talking with these people from all over the world, that Richard left something spiritual and good in every placed he toured.

It’s 21.30, London, UK.  Richard Bona and his band come on stage at the crowded Jazz Café: the crowd is full of expectations. Once a small technical problem is resolved, the concert starts. The first song, « Engingilaye », heats up the audience.  Most of the songs performed during the night are from his last record, ‘Tiki’ (Universal 2006). The technique and musical talent of the band leader who Is of course already established and well known; so is the synergy of the musicians, totally devoted to music, who use dynamic as an instrument of musical expression. 

byemsd.jpg The most touching moments are the songs that Bona performs on his own, with just his voice. The live version of ‘Samaouma’ impresses and surprises the audience. Using his voice and a loop-station, through which he can record and instantly reproduce his own voice,  Bona creates a really unique atmosphere. Seeing him perform tunes like this shows that some people are just born with musical talent: although he’s performing songs that are technically very difficult, and very musical, Bona doesn’t seem to need great concentration, but plays with incredible joy and ease. As the concert comes to an end everyone at the Jazz Café is dancing, partying, and trying to sing the few Douala words that they have learnt imitating Bona.  I’ve listened to the last live record ‘Bona makes you sweat’, and I think it is a good reflection of our great live experience at the Jazz Café, so I recommend it to anybody who hasn’t been able to go to a Richard Bona concert yet; it will also please Bona’s fans and everybody who enjoys 100% real music!! Richard Bona – bass and vocals 

Etienne Stadwijk – keyboards Ernesto Simpson – drums Samuel Torres – percussion  Taylor Haskins – trumpet Adam Stoler – guitar 

Une tentative de mise en commun des contributions situées à des échelles d’expression diverses qui viennent enrichir le débat au sujet de la quête et l’affirmation d’une identité commune à des communautés éparses.

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