Cameroonian superstar bassist Richard Bona returns to play two exclusive dates at The Jazz Cafe in 2023.
Born and raised in Cameroon, Bona arrived in New York in the mid-’90s and wowed crowds with his unique sound and presence. Some even outrageously hinted that Bona was the second coming of Jaco Pastorius.
But even though he recorded with the Jaco Pastorius Big Band project, he soon rebuffed the comparisons and showed his own true voice with his impressive Scenes From My Life debut album in 1999. The year earlier he was enlisted to be the musical director for Harry Belafonte’s European tour and in 2002 toured the world as a member of the Pat Metheny Group. His latest project is his spirited Afro-Cuban group Mandekan Cubano which melds together a variety of roots music, from Africa, South America and of course Cuba. Bona’s six-piece band includes two percussionists making this celebration ripple and soar.
Originally from Cameroon, Bona remains true to his roots, with African rhythms reflected in each of his seven albums; the first three, Scenes from My Life, Reverence and Munia display his unique approach to storytelling through sounds. Seeking inspiration from his origins, the themes of Bona’s albums address international issues which mirror his desire of using music to take a stance on issues affecting the oppressed.