The Roots Bongo Band
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The Roots Bongo Band

Banjul, Banjul, Gambia

Banjul, Banjul, Gambia
World Reggae

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The Roots Bongo Band is an African Reggae Band that combines traditional Roots Reggae with a European influence brought to the band by their female lead singer, Nina Beste. Nina who started singing in a church choir in Germany, later moved to New York where she had professional voice training, and in 2009 she started studying at the University of Westminster. She has a BA (HONS) degree in Commercial Music and has been recording music since 2008.

The band has three official base members: JoeHero (guitarist/male lead singer), Nina (female lead singer), Afang Maakangbaa (singer, bongo, saxophone) and they mostly play together with Omar (bass), Charlie (guitar/keys) and Tony (drums). Based in London, UK, and Banjul, The Gambia, The Roots Bongo Band performs live mainly in Africa at the moment. Their music can be described as combining Roots Reggae with the occasional Pop Reggae track and plenty of African features and vibes.

The aim of their innovative debut album ‘Leaders of Tomorrow’ is to present the unity of cultures as a future aim not only in music, but in general. ‘By bringing Africa and Europe closer together, to live in ‘Peace & Love’ we can be the ‘Leaders of Tomorrow,’ the band say.


‘Leaders of Tomorrow’ presents an excellent array of songs. Beautifully recorded renditions of their songs which I wasn’t familiar with before, but are now lodged in the reggae recesses of my brain. I would say this is classic old-school Reggae with a luscious world-music touch. They sing lyrics you can actually make out and sing-a-long to, which really makes this even more enjoyable. Obviously, when the band communicate in their native tongue, you can just chill out and groove along to the uplifting vibes of the music.

My personal favorites are “Blood Arun,” “Never Give it Up,” “Leaders Of Tomorrow,” “Good Ways,” “Nina,” “If You Love Me,” and “Peace And Love.” However most of the music on this twelve-track album is real feel-good stuff, which send powerful, uplifting vibrations throughout. Even if you’re not a reggae aficionado, you’ll still find some joy on this album.

The Roots Bongo Band dish-up music that is hypnotic, fun, serious, playful, and deeply rooted in the spirit of Africa. Therefore the friendship, love, respect, and musical joining that this album ignites within each listener, is something special, worthwhile, and precious.

In my opinion, the ‘Leaders of Tomorrow’ is medicine. Emotional, psychological and musical medicine for the masses. Wonderfully produced, fun, lively, and entertaining, this a very good album indeed, that will appeal to a wide range of reggae and world-music fans. - JAMSPHERE


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

The Roots Bongo Band is an African – European World music band. The band plays a combination of ‘Roots Pop Reggae’, ‘World Beat’ and traditional African music.
On January 7th 2012 the band released their debut album ‘Leaders of Tomorrow’, reviewed as ‘Emotional, psychological and musical medicine for the masses. Wonderfully produced, fun, lively, and entertaining, very good album indeed, that will appeal to a wide range of reggae and world-music fans’ on Jamsphere Indie Music Magazine.
In 2001 the band was initially formed as an acoustic set by self-taught musicians Afang Maakangbaa (Ismaila Colley) and JoeHero (Joseph Mendy) in The Gambia. In mid 2009 they met with vocalist Nina Beste who officially joined the band as one of the lead singers in 2010. Since early 2013 the band performs continually with Anthony Banya (drums).
The band currently performs live in The Gambia where they opened their own ‘The Roots Bongo Bar & Restaurant’. They play Salsa music every Friday night, and the band performs songs form their album live every Saturday.
The Kombo Tour of 2013 takes the band around the greater Banjul area where they perform free concerts throughout the year.
The band’s aim is to unite people through music, as well as further Gambian society by joining a variety of local charity organisations and performing for their events and fundraisers.