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Interview with Richard Bona

Author: Richard Bona; Mark Ruffin; Jazz at Lincoln Center (Organization)
Publisher: 2008.
Series: Duke jazz histories.
Edition/Format:   DVD video : English
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Richard Bona speaks with Mark Ruffin about growing up in Cameroon, Africa, in a small eastern town called Minta; learning to play the balaphon at the age of three; playing in his grandfather's band at the local church by the time he was five; playing solo gigs by the time he was eight; moving to the capital of Cameroon, Yaounde, with his family when he was eleven; learning to play guitar by translating his knowledge  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: Interviews
Named Person: Richard Bona; Jaco Pastorius; Joe Zawinul; Harry Belafonte; Mike Stern; Lionel Loueke
Material Type: Videorecording
Document Type: Visual material
All Authors / Contributors: Richard Bona; Mark Ruffin; Jazz at Lincoln Center (Organization)
OCLC Number: 268790996
Notes: Interview with Richard Bona conducted by Mark Ruffin, in New York, N.Y., on Sep. 25, 2008.
Event notes: Videotaped with the cooperation of Jazz at Lincoln Center in the oral history room of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Sep. 25, 2008, by Robert Penn Productions.
Description: 1 videodisc (ca. 57 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.
Details: DVD.
Series Title: Duke jazz histories.

Abstract:

Richard Bona speaks with Mark Ruffin about growing up in Cameroon, Africa, in a small eastern town called Minta; learning to play the balaphon at the age of three; playing in his grandfather's band at the local church by the time he was five; playing solo gigs by the time he was eight; moving to the capital of Cameroon, Yaounde, with his family when he was eleven; learning to play guitar by translating his knowledge of and skill on the balaphon; being approached to play in a jazz club, but not knowing jazz music; hearing the music of Jaco Pastorius, and its influence on him; learning Pastorius' style in three months, and playing jazz on bass guitar; discovering the music of Ben Webster and Josef Zawinul; moving to France, at age nineteen, after the death of his father; meeting Fela Kuti, and his impressions of the musician; playing jazz music in Paris; the types of musicians he seeks out to play with, those who are equally comfortable playing jazz and non-jazz styles; being hired by Josef Zawinul and moving to N.Y. in 1994 to tour with the Zawinul Syndicate; recognizing the connection between himself, Josef Zawinul and Jaco Pastorius; his inspiration from his grandfather; various anecdotes of Josef Zawinul while on tour; being introduced to Harry Belafonte, and becoming his musical director; lessons learned through Belafonte; meeting Mike Stern in 1991 and finding a kindred spirit in him; getting a record deal with Columbia Records through Jeff Levinson and Branford Marsalis, and the positive experience he had working with them; eventually moving to a French record label, Universal, and deciding never to sign in America again after discovering that his artistic integrity was being jepordized by music executives in the U.S.; the music industry in the U.S., and his opinions of its management; his desire to present a wide variety of musical styles as reflected in his influences and life experiences; returning to vocals, and his feeling that singers are story tellers; his recent release, Bona makes you sweat, and the inclusion of salsa rhythms; performing with Lionel Loueke at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and his impressions of Loueke, including a possible future tour.

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