Angolan musician Bonga celebrates 76 years on the stage of the Aula Magna of the University of Lisbon on September 5 with a performance he referred to as “a party with friends”.
In an interview, Bonga said that the show in the Great Hall “will be one more day of celebration” because it is his 76th birthday.
“I’m going to have people who come to my house, relatives, friends and fans, who are incredible kids, so it’s going to be a spectacle where we’ll remember what is sung at home, from ‘Corrumba’ to the ‘Fruits of Will’, making it vibrate in a spectacle that is a reunion with people who want me very much, “said the musician who remembered the career of more than 40 years.
A career that is confused with the Angolan music and the history of the country, that portrays in its songs, and is made of “many musical complicities”.
Bonga recalled “the difficult times” that he lived, having “been forbidden to act, even in Angola,” and when Angolan music “was pejoratively called folklore.”
“There was a period of prejudice in which folklore was called [to Angolan music], which was a bit pejorative, and [there were] obstacles that I had to face, because it was a different song that was not valued, less heard, and today, more than ever, I am aware that I have put a brick in this great construction that is the consequent dissemination of our Angolan / African music, “said the musician, adding that Angolan music is now” more recognized and respected than 20 years ago. ”
Referring to the current musical fusions as kizomba rhythms with kuduro, the musician considered that “they run the risk of passing quickly”, unlike the genre that always sang, “the semba, which is defined, that is Angolan , and it is timeless, incidentally, even those who make these merges end up coming to beat the semba. ”
Bonga referred to semba as a song “which has its own expression and a very strong experience in relation to a whole people that made it their way of life.”
Concerning the Angolan people, the singer said “that the populations remain in need and with great problems”.
“It is degrading to know that there are children who die every day,” but acknowledged that, at present, “there is a political will, with a view to a better redistribution of wealth.”
Bonga will be accompanied by musicians Betinho Feijó (guitar and musical direction), Ciro Bertini (accordion), Hernani Lagross (bass) and Estêvão Gipson (drums), and by the dancer Joana Calunga.
In the show, which will feature “with some surprise appearances”, the lineup will be done by “themes of always”, such as “Kissueia”, which he defined as a “nostalgic ballad, full of depth and remembrance of the land of origin”, as well as ” Mariquinha “,” Mulemba Xangola “,” Kambua “,” Patxi Ni Ngongo “or” A Tear in the Corner of the Eye “.
Bonga compared himself to Port Wine, stating that “the older the better” and hence “continue today to be sung by the younger ones.”
Jose Adelino Barceló de Carvalho, from his name of registry, adopted in the adolescence the name of Bonga Kuenda, that pointed like its “true I”.
His musical debut in 1972 was with the album “Angola’72”, which was followed by several others and continues to be “very requested”, namely in France, country that distinguished him with the Order of Arts and Letters, degree of knighthood in 2014.
For Portugal, the Angolan musician performed this year at Rock in Rio in Lisbon, Festival Med, in Loulé, recently in Braga, and was one of the participants in the show at the end of the year in 2017 at Praça do Comércio , in Lisbon, among other activities.