Thursday, August 18, 2005

Martino Atangana and the African Blue Note

Martino Atangana and the African Blue Note
Amandla Newspaper
By Pamela Appea

If you thought the African music scene in New York was close to dead, think again.

Martino Atangana and the African Blue note, a five-member band, have been playing regularly in New York over the past decade. The band's music, a delicious blend of soukous from Cameroon, Nigerian juju music and Ghanaian highlife, among other musical styles, offers something for everyone.

Lead member of the African Blue note, Martino Atangana, a native of Cameroon, has been a musician since the 1970s. Atangana has lived and worked as a musician spanning three continents in almost three decades. While living in Paris in the 1980s and early 1990s, Atangana's music appeared on Paul Simon's 1990 album, The Rhythm of the Saints.

Atangana has also toured with Jean-Luc Ponty from 1991 to 1993, collaborating with two of Ponty's albums, Tchokola and No Absolute Time.

Today, Atangana lives and works in New York.

In addition to Martino Atangana, Azouhouni Adou (keyboards/vocals); Lawrence Flavius (drums); Mamadou Ba (Bass); and Todd Horton ( trumpet/flugelhorn) are all talented veteran musicians.

All of the members of the group are all veterans of international musical tours with everyone from Fela Kuti to Harry Belafonte to the Spin Doctors. They have also performed at Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Botanical Garden, Museum for African Art, New Jersey Performing Art Center (NJPAC), and countless other venues in the New York/New Jersey areas.

Martino Atangana and the African Blue Note perform regularly at the Zinc Bar in downtown New York on Houston every month. Their next gig will be on August 26th.
Originally published August 18, 2005