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Armenian Culture, Science and Education Development Foundation

”I am not from Africa, I am from Armenia”, Richard Bona

Rishar Bona (19)

”I am from Armenia, I will now perform my national music, an Armenian song,” was announced from the stage by one of the world’s most influential jazz musicians and then the hall was filled with African music sounds.
Indeed, for the performer’s own national song an African music should have been played, but Richard Bona was just joking, trying to get closer with the Armenian audience who hosted him so warmly and with passion.
In the frame of «Yerevan Jazz Fest 2015» celebration of Jazz which continued for three days, on 18 September at K. Demirchyan Sport and Concert Complex’s stage, it was then turn of the most anticipated performer of that evening, so wanted by the Armenian audience, virtuoso bass guitarist and jazz-rock master Richard Bona.
“Before this, I was on another tour, but the concert in Yerevan is the most desirable for me” emphasized the musician, receiving then squall of applauses.

Richard Bona (Bona Pinder Yayumayalolo) was born in Cameroon, lived and worked in France and in the United States. He sings and also fluent in Cameroon’s native four languages as well as in French, English, Spanish and Japanese. Although Bona grew up in a family of music lovers, his parents could not afford buying him an instrument, so he was ought to make his first bass guitar for himself.

At the age of 13 Bona created his first jazz band. Later, after listening music of Jaco Pastorius he decided to become a bass guitarist and due to very hard work he then became famous in Europe. In 1995 Bona moved to New York where he still lives and works. Just only three years later, in 1998,  he is becoming a musical director of the legendary singer Harry Belafonte. Bona performed concerts with the best musicians, including George Benson, Bobby McFerin, Chaka Khan, Larry Coryell, Michael and Randy Breckers, Mike Stern, Steve Gadd. Bona also teaches music at New York University and writes music.

“I know your African name! was heard from the crowd, on what the musician joked around “I am not from Africa, I am from Armenia”.
“Will you marry me?!”  someone else shouted…“Yes, if you give me a lot of money,” said Bona, cautioning that he eats a lot.

With his ability of continuously holding the hall-stage and musicians-audience connection, literally luring his public and bounding with his show, Bona continued the musical rejoicing by playing jazz rhythms, transferring his powerful energetics to the audience and “forcing” them to sing with him.

“I can see there are many mothers among you,” said the musician and devoted his next song to all mothers. The end of the concert was picked up by the audience who made Bona to return on stage twice.
“As you don’t want to go home now, I will sing something so you fall asleep,” said the musician getting on stage for the second time. After the tune was played the audience not only didn’t sleep, but even more enthusiastically greeted the musician, who, however, “went home”.

 «Yerevan Jazz Fest 2015» festival’s organizers are the Armenian Jazz Association and “Mezzo Production” company. On September 19 there were performances coming from the Armenian State Jazz Orchestra, Mary and Armen Merabovs, Erna Yuzbashyan and Hubert Tabs.

 

 

 (Culture.AM)
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