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Gumbe, also goombay or gumbay is a West African style of music found in countries such as Sierra Leone and Guinea-Bissau.


It is likely that the etymology of African-American musical genres goombay of the Bahamas[1] originates in Guinea-Bissau gumbe. Gombey music from the Bermuda and the Jamaican square maroon drum called goombay could also be related.


Gumbe is a specific genre, mostly influenced by the fast tempo zouk style called "zouk béton" (music of the French Caribbean popularized by Kassav in the 1980s); though the same term also refers to any music of the country. True gumbe is a fusion of several Bissauan folk traditions. Gumbe is the genre most closely associated with Guinea-Bissauan music worldwide. Not many people know about this type of music.

Gumbe is a primarily vocal and percussive music that has been associated with nationalist thought since colonial times.


  1. ^ See the Bahamas Goombay 1951-1959 album (scroll down to read booklet in both French and English:) [1]