(R. Bona)
( 5'31, 2.52Mo)

New Bell
(R. Bona)
( 4'26, 2.03Mo)

Extrait de SCENES OF MY LIFE (1999), avec:
sur "Djombwe": Richard Bona (voc, guit, bass, percu); Aaron Heick (alto sax); Etienne Stadwijk (keyb); Jeremy Gaddie (drums);
sur "New Bell": Richard Bona (voc, guit, bass, percu); Mokthar Samba (drums); Alune Faye (sabbar).


" b. 1967, Minta, East Cameroon. Raised in a music-filled home where his mother and grandfather were singers and the latter was also a percussionist, Bona took an early interest in playing music. At the age of three he showed an aptitude for the balafon, even making his own instrument. He also sang and by the age of five was performing in public with his family in the village church. He continued to make his own instruments, among them wooden flutes and percussion instruments, eventually building a 12-string guitar. Bona's abilities as a performer, singer and instrumentalist, led to a demand for his services and soon he moved to Douala where he discovered that he had the phenomenal gift of learning to play almost any instrument simply by watching other musicians. At the age of 11 he began his career as a professional musician. Two years later he was heard by the owner of a jazz club at a local hotel. Hired to form a band, Bona set about teaching himself to play all the instruments made available by the hotel and to read and write music. Thanks to the club owner's jazz record collection, Bona was able to learn the music that would shape his life from this time onwards. It happened that the first record Bona played was by the electric bass guitarist Jaco Pastorius. Until this time, Bona had not considered the bass as his instrument of choice, but he immediately began to play bass and, significantly for his future career, in the style he heard on the record. When he was 22, Bona moved to Paris and within a few weeks was working regularly with leading local jazzmen including Didier Lockwood and Marc Ducret, and visiting artists such as Joe Zawinul. Bona spent seven years in Paris, refining his writing skills at music school. Following a visit to Senegal where he performed at a jazz festival, Bona accepted an invitation to visit New York. At this time, Bona knew no English but the local music community was quick to embrace him and in 1995 he made the city his home. He played with Zawinul on My People and subsequently on a world tour. Returning to New York when the tour was over, Bona became Harry Belafonte 's bandleader and musical director for a year and a half. His jazz work was extensive, including appearances with Larry Coryell, Michael Brecker and Randy Brecker, Regina Carter and Steve Gadd. At the end of 1998, Columbia Records signed him and his debut, Scenes From My Life gained wide critical and popular praise, displaying as it does, Bona's distinctive singing voice and talent as a songwriter, rather than showcasing his instrumental prowess. At the end of the century, Bona was a fixture on the New York jazz scene, recording with Mino Cinelu and often working with his own quartet featuring pianist Jean-Michel Pilc, drummer Jonathan Joseph and saxophonist Aaron Heick. Bona's playing demonstrates a fascinating mixture of his musical roots, his assimilation of jazz, and his remarkable technical skills. "



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