Event

Get to know more about the Bamenda Jazz Festival

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The Bamenda Jazz Festival (BaJa ) is a dream give form by two of Bamenda’s sons, Achu Normad and Pijenda, who are both Afro Jazz and world Music Guitarists, Singers and Song writers.

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In early 2014, the paths of two these two visionaries crossed at a music concert in the Ndawara Tea estate. As they talked, they realized how similar their goals were and how synchronized their ideas and objectives for Afro Jazz music were. These two will go on to build a strong brotherhood where they worked on music development projects, trying to forge themselves into the next generation of Afro Jazz legends and attempt to put Bamenda on the jazz music map. They worked until Achu left for the United States in the fall of 2014.In the United States, Achu was amazed with the respect Americans gave him just because he’s a musician from Cameroon, this was due to the Legacy of Manu Dibango and Richard Bona in Afro Jazz Fusion.

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Immediately, it occurred to him that these legends who put Cameroon on the jazz music map of the world did such a great job that must be continued. Although, it was a very challenging task to meet people’s expectations and fill in the big boots of these Afro Jazz legends, Achu will go on to create a band of very talented Jazz Musicians and thought them his own approach to Jazz. He achieved this by blending Bamenda’s grassland styles of Njang, Mbaghalum (6/8 rhythmic time) and Makossa with Cuban Jazz and Soulful singing. He will go on to play this unique genre of Jazz (Afro-cuban Jazz) with his band in bars, restaurants, wineries and local festivals here in Kentucky. In December 2016, He recorded his debut album “Alieh” and his resulting blend is finally served to the world.

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Achu then reached out to his old friend Pijenda and they developed the project BaJa Festival, which will be a celebration of the blend between African music from the Grass fields of Bamenda and Jazz fusion. BaJa Festival is expected to pave the way for the next generation of afro jazz legends from Cameroon, particularly Bamenda and will be an annual jazz festival, first of its kind full of potential and promise. Come Dance and enjoy the season. This event is scheduled to take place on the 8th of January, 2016.

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