Bembeya Is Ever Strong

Thursday, November 16, 2006
The musical outfit, Bembeya Jazz Band of Guinea Conakry, is a group that needs no introduction, as anyone keen about African music must have heard about them.

Apart from being the most popular band in Guinea Conakry, Bembeya Jazz Band is also one of the oldest bands in Africa having being formed in April 1961 when many countries on the continent were still under the shackles of colonial rule.

In this rare interview with Point’s Managing Editor Pap Saine, who himself was a one-time die-hard music impresario, the bandleader of Bembeya, Sekou Diabate, maintained that his band is ever strong.

To discover more, please read on.

The bandleader of Bembeya Jazz Band, Sekou Diabate, commonly known as Diamond Finger, is presently in The Gambia.

He told The Point that the purpose of his visit is to meet journalists in the country who he said are the best informers.

He said that his band had been revived, adding that now the band is constituted with four founder members and nine new members.
“We have revived the band two years ago because we feel that it is time for us to make a comeback to entertain our fans. “We invite our brothers, sisters, grand sons and elder brothers and elder sisters to come in large number to see us in action in due course.

“I want to reassure our fans and those who like African music that Bembeya is ver strong. “A friend of us called Abou Guiness asked me to come to The Gambia to meet the press so that they would help us in our promotional bid because The Gambia is our second home.

“We have created new songs but not yet release but we are planning to record new cassette and DVD which will be available for sale. “We love The Gambia and Gambians love us. I would like to thank Ousu Njie Senor who was a member of Super Eagles and the members of Neh Affair particularly Alasan Sinyan.

“I cannot forget Basiru Jawara and Solo Darboe who used to give us a lot of support”. Commenting on the African music, Diabate said, “we should maintain our values, play real African music, work harder to make research on our folklore by educating people, singing love, issues like social problems and matters relating to social life of people.

“I’m not against rap music but we should have a limit on that field because it is not African 100%.”

Below we bring you the names of the musicians in Bembeya Jazz Band.

Kounde Morry Magala, playing drum, Salifou Kaba, singer, Dorego Clement, singer Sekou Diabate, leading guitarist, Yousoufa Bah, singer Mbemba Camara, singer, Sidi Diabate, bass Binetoulaye Kondeh, rhythm Guitar, Salifou Toure, Trombone Abdoulaye Bangoura, Trumpet.
Author: Sekou Diabate
Source: The Point
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