Bembeya Jazz fell onto harder times in the 1980s and disbanded for a number of years, but reformed in the late 1990s and has toured Europe and North America in the early 2000s. == 1960s== In the aftermath of the Guinean Independence in 1958 and the encouragement of cultural pride, numerous bands sprang up throughout the African country. The first dance bands were state-supported orchestras, and included popular groups like Lanaya Jazz, Keletigui et ses Tambourins and Super Boiro. The most popular was Bembeya Jazz National, formed by vocalist Aboubacar Dembar Camara in 1961. Specializing in modern arrangements of Manding classic tunes, Bembeya Jazz National won the first two national "Biennale festival"s in 1962 and 1964 and was crowned "National Orchestra" in 1966. Initially a seven-piece group, featuring a Latin-flavored horn section of saxophone, trumpet, and clarinet, Bembeya Jazz National reached its apex with the addition of electric guitarist Sekou “Diamond Fingers” Diabate and lead singer Sekouba Mabino Diabate (no relation).
At one time there was believed to be around 11 members in the band. Although prohibited from touring outside Guinea until the mid-’80s, Bembeya Jazz National continued to build a cult-like following in its home country. Among their biggest hits was the song "Mamy Wata". Bembeya Jazz National’s most ambitious album, Regard Sur Le Passe, released in 1968, was a musical tribute to the memory of Samory Touré, who founded a Mande conquest state in much of what is now northern Guinea in 1870, and who became a nationalist emblem following 1958. ==1970s and 80s== A live album, 10 Ans De Succes, was recorded during a 1971 concert, but set-back for the band came on April 5th, 1973 when Camara was killed in an auto accident on his way to a concert in Dakar. Although they remained together for another eight years, Bembeya Jazz National was unable to duplicate the success of their earliest years.
The group disbanded in 1991 with Sekou Diabate and Sekouba Bambino Diabate going on to successful solo careers. ==Reformation== The band reformed in the late 1990s and has toured Europe and North America in the early 2000s. == Incomplete Discography== * Bembaya Jazz * Bembaya * Defi and Continuite * Jardin de Guinee * Bembeye Jazz Live - 10 Ans de Success * Memoire de Aboubacar Camara * Sabu (LP) * Telegramme * Wa Kele * Yekele (LP) * Hommage a Demba Camara http://www.radioafrica.com.au/Discographies/Bembeya.html http://worldmusic.nationalgeographic.com/worldmusic/view/page.basic/artist/content.artist/bembeya_jazz_7724 Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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