|Birth name||Bona Pinder Yayumayalolo|
|Born||28 October 1967|
|Genres||Jazz fusion, world fusion, ethno jazz, Funk|
|Labels||Universal, Columbia, Sony, Verve, GRP|
|Associated acts||Pat Metheny Group, Zawinul Syndicate, Mike Stern, John Legend,|
Richard Bona (born 28 October 1967) is a Cameroon-born American musician, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist.
Bona Penda Nya Yuma Elolo was born in Minta, Cameroon, into a family of musicians, which enabled him to start learning music from a young age. His grandfather was a griot – a West African singer of praise and storyteller – and percussionist, as his mother was a singer. When he was four years old, Bona started to play the balafon. At the age of five, he began performing at his village church. Not being wealthy, Bona made many of his own instruments: including flutes and guitars (with cords strung over an old motorcycle tank).
His talent was quickly noticed, and he was often invited to perform at festivals and ceremonies. Bona began learning to play the guitar at the age of 11, and in 1980, aged just 13, he assembled his first ensemble for a French jazz club in Douala. The owner befriended him and helped him discover jazz music, in particular that of Jaco Pastorius, which inspired Bona to switch his focus to the electric bass.
In 1995, Bona left France and established himself in New York, where he still lives and works. In New York he played bass guitar with artists including Joe Zawinul, Larry Coryell, Michael and Randy Brecker, Mike Stern, George Benson, Branford Marsalis, Chaka Khan, Bobby McFerrin, and Steve Gadd.
In 1998, Bona was the Musical Director on Harry Belafonte's European Tour.
His debut solo album, Scenes from My Life, was released in 1999. He has also been prominently featured in Jaco Pastorius Big Band albums, as well as many other albums by various top-tier jazz musicians.
In 2002 Bona went on a world tour with the Pat Metheny Group. The release of the successful Speaking of Now album that year had marked a profound change in the group's direction by adding younger musicians to the band, notably with Bona as bassist, vocalist, guitarist and percussionist, along with drummer Antonio Sánchez and trumpet player Cuong Vu.
In 2005 Bona released his fourth solo album Tiki, which included a collaboration with John Legend on one track, entitled "Please Don't Stop." The album was nominated for Best Contemporary World Music Album at the 49th Grammy Awards.
Between 2015 and 2020, he owned, together with restaurateur Laurent d'Antonio, the Club Bonafide, a jazz club in New York.
Richard Bona's music took on a distinctive Afro-Cuban flavor with the 2016 release of the Heritage album with Cuban band Mandekan Cubano. The album was released under Quincy Jones' Qwest label.
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions||Certifications|
|Scenes from My Life||
|Toto Bona Lokua
(with Gerald Toto and Lokua Kanza)
|The Ten Shades of Blues||
(with Mandekan Cubano)
|"—" denotes a release that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|Bona Makes You Sweat||
|Kaze ga Kureta Melody||
With Mike Stern
- Voices (Atlantic, 2001)
- These Times (ESC, 2003)
- Who Let the Cats Out? (Heads Up, 2006)
- Big Neighborhood (Heads Up, 2009)
- All Over the Place (Heads Up, 2012)
With Sadao Watanabe
- Sadao 2000 (Polydor/Verve, 2000)
- Wheel of Life (Verve, 2003)
- "One for You" Sadao & Bona Live (JVC, 2005)
With Kazumi Watanabe
- Mo' Bop (EWE, 2003)
- Mo' Bop II (AWS, 2004)
- Mo' Bop III (EWE, 2006)
- Acoustic Flakes (EWE, 2009)
With Joe Zawinul
- My People (Jms, 1996)
- World Tour (ESC, 1998)
- Faces & Places (Jms, 2002)
- Harry Belafonte, An Evening with Harry Belafonte & Friends (Island, 1997)
- BélO, Reference (Aztec Musique, 2008)
- George Benson, Irreplaceable (GRP, 2003)
- Randy Brecker, Hangin' in the City (ESC, 2001)
- Regina Carter, Rhythms of the Heart (Verve, 1999)
- Andre Ceccarelli, Ultimo (Universal/EmArcy, 2012)
- Mino Cinelu, Mino Cinelu (EmArcy, 1999)
- Larry Coryell, Spaces Revisited (Shanachie, 1997)
- Corin Curschellas, Goodbye Gary Cooper (Make Up, 1999)
- Chico DeBarge, Addiction (Kedar, 2009)
- Robert Dick, Jazz Standards On Mars (Enja, 1997)
- Coreon Du, Binario Da Banda (2014)
- Eliane Elias, Dave Grusin, Herbie Hancock, Bob James, Brad Mehldau, Portrait of Bill Evans (JVC, 2004)
- Jonathan Elias, Prayer Cycle: Path to Zero (Across the Universe, 2011)
- Bill Evans (saxophonist), The Other Side of Something (Intuition, 2007)
- Bela Fleck, Throw Down Your Heart (Rounder, 2009)
- Guaco, Bidimensional (Producciones Guaqueros, 2017)
- Anna Maria Jopek, ID (EmArcy, 2008)
- D. D. Jackson, Anthem (RCA Victor, 2000)
- Bob James, Joy Ride (Warner Bros., 1999)
- Joe, Signature (563 Entertainment, 2009)
- Joe, DoubleBack: Evolution of R&B (563 Entertainment, 2013)
- Eric Le Lann, Cap Frehel (Musidisc, 1992)
- Lionel Loueke, Mwaliko (Blue Note, 2010)
- Lura, Heranca (Lusafrica, 2015)
- Christophe Mae, La Vie D'artiste (Parlophone, 2019)
- Maria Markesini, Kosmo Etcetera Now (KTD, 2009)
- Hector Martignon, Refugee (Zoho, 2007)
- Keiko Matsui, Moyo (Stomp, 2008)
- Frank McComb, Love Stories (Columbia, 2000)
- Bobby McFerrin, Beyond Words (Blue Note, 2002)
- Pat Metheny, Speaking of Now (Warner Bros., 2002)
- Pat Metheny, The Way Up (Nonesuch, 2005)
- Jane Monheit, Come Dream with Me (N-Coded, 2001)
- Les Nubians, One Step Forward (Virgin, 2003)
- Jaco Pastorius, Word of Mouth Revisited (Heads Up, 2003)
- Jaco Pastorius, The Word Is Out! (Heads Up, 2006)
- Danilo Perez, Panafrica (Verve, 2001)
- Dianne Reeves, Beautiful Life (Concord, 2013)
- Lee Ritenour, Smoke 'n' Mirrors (Peak, 2006)
- Renee Rosnes, Art & Soul (Blue Note, 1999)
- Kamil Rustam, Cosmopolitain (Can U Feel It, 2017)
- Philippe Saisse, Halfway 'Til Dawn (GRP, 1999)
- Soldier String Quartet, Inspect for Damaged Gods (Mulatta, 2004)
- Joseph Tawadros, Chameleons of the White Shadow (ABC, 2013)
- Jacky Terrasson, What It Is (Blue Note, 1999)
- Huong Thanh, Dragonfly (ACT, 2001)
- Two Siberians, Out of Nowhere (Heads Up, 2005)
- Victor Wooten, Palmystery (Heads Up, 2008)
- "Musician Richard Bona will perform in five Polish cities".
- "Biography: Richard Bona". RFI music. October 2010. Archived from the original on 9 June 2010. Retrieved 9 November 2010.
- "Jazz Faculty: Richard Bona". New York University. Archived from the original on 5 July 2013. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
- "ultratop.be – Discographie Richard Bona" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
- "LesCharts.com – Discographie Richard Bona" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
- "DutchCharts.nl – Discografie Richard Bona" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
- Peak chart positions in Poland:
- Tiki: "OLiS – sales for the period 03.07.2006 – 09.07.2006". OLiS. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
- Bonafied: "OLiS – sales for the period 19.08.2013 – 25.08.2013". OLiS. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
- "Richard Bona | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
- "Gold certification awards". Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. Archived from the original on 3 June 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
- "Le Top de la semaine : Top Albums Fusionnes - SNEP (Week 26, 2016)" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. 10 June 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
- "Kaze ga Kureta Melody". bonamusic.com. Archived from the original on 22 September 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
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