The CEO of Akumba Music Speaks about Pijenda – Kineyo
“In early 2014, I met Pijenda at a musical concert in the Ndawara Tea estate in Bamenda. We Immediately clicked and as we talked, we realized how similar our goals were and how synchronized our ideas and objectives for Afro Jazz music were. we will go on to build a strong brotherhood where we worked on music development projects, trying to forge ourselves into the next generation Afro Jazz legends from Cameroon and attempt to put Bamenda on the jazz music map. We worked until I left for the United States in the fall of 2014.
In the United States, I was amazed with the respect I received just because I’m a musician from Cameroon, this is due to the Legacy of Manu Dibango and Richard Bona in Afro Jazz Fusion. Immediately, it occurred to me 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 will be a very challenging task to meet people’s expectations and fill in the big boots of these Afro Jazz legends (Bona and Dibango), I went on to create a band of very talented Jazz Musicians in Lexington Kentucky and thought them my own approach to Jazz. I achieved this by blending Bamenda’s grassland styles of Njang, Mbaghalum (6/8 time) and Makossa with Cuban Jazz and Soulful singing. We will go on to play this unique genre of Jazz (Afro-cuban Jazz) in bars, restaurants, wineries and local festivals here in Kentucky. In December 2016, I Created Akumba Music and recorded debut album “Alieh” under this World Music Label and my resulting blend was finally served to the world.
I then reached out to my old friend Pijenda and we developed the project KINEYO, which is a celebrational Album of the blend between African music from the Grass fields of Bamenda and Jazz under Akumba Music. I nicknamed this Artist “The Humming Bird”, because of the way he blends his smooth and Uniquely beautiful voice with a Soprano Sax and Cameroonian-Style Rhythm guitar playing. The whole ensemble plays with a horn section, which Solidifies the Jazzy nature of the African 4/4 and 6/8 rhythms “
Kineyo is also on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, YouTube