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Jazz Is Not American Invention But Has Roots In Africa

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Of all the genres of music, jazz is one of the most fluid—and one of the most unique. Anyone who has listened to greats like Louis Armstrong, John Coltrane, or Dizzy Gillespie knows what it’s like to hear scatting, flourishes, and unprompted solos; a mastery of jazz that seems almost effortless.

In order to realize the impact jazz music has had on many other genres, it’s important to look at where it came from. Although some people assume it’s a purely American invention, in truth, the roots of jazz music lie in African and European music traditions.

According to an article from Jazz in America, jazz can attribute its “rhythm and feel” and bluesy quality to traditional African music; as well as the ability to use an instrument as an extension of your own voice. The more rigid pieces of the jazz language—such as the harmony, chords, and instruments—come from a European influence. Of course, jazz also has strong roots in the African-American tradition; particularly with folk songs sung by slaves in the Southern United States.

It’s believed that once these musical traditions collided in the early 20th century—in New Orleans, Louisiana—what we know today as “jazz music” was born. It’s a fitting birthplace for a style featuring a loose, free-flowing combination of musical pieces. The raucous atmosphere of the port city allowed for musicians of all sorts to get together and learn from each other.

Today, jazz music is played around the world, and various regions have developed their own spinoff styles—including bossa nova in Brazil, cape jazz in Cape Town, and even Asian-American jazz, played with traditional folk instruments like the shamisen and taiko drums.

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Culture

Cameroon’s Bamoun kingdom Gets New Ruler

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African history is endless that ones curiosity may never be satisfied. Taarifa takes you into Cameroon’s Bamoun kingdom- one of Africa’s oldest kingdoms with rich history.

This Sunday, October 10, 2021, a new king for the Bamoun kingdom was enthroned at a colourful traditional ceremony.

At the age of 29, Nabil Mbombo Njoya sat on a throne wearing a unique traditional and royal outfit reserved only for the king in this territory.

The Bamoun, a powerful kingdom of western Cameroon boasts of a population of 2 million people.

The latest United Nations data indicates that Cameroon hosts a total of Cameroon is 27,386,702 inhabitants.

Nabil Mbombo Njoya succeeds his late father, Sultan Ibrahim Mbombo Njoya who Designated Nabil in his will. Nabil is the first son born after his fathers enthronement.

Very close to his father, he was brought up in the Bamoun tradition, educated at the American school in Yaoundé before studying in the United States and at the National School of Administration and the Judiciary of Cameroon.

He was appointed after an initiation conclave led by the notables of the kingdom and becomes at 29 years old, the twentieth in the line of Bamoun kings.

His Royal Highness Nabil  will occupy the Royal Palace of Foumban of the Bamoun dynasty which dates back from the 14th century in history.

The Palace was renovated and completed in 1917 after which the belongings of previous Sultans were arranged and kept for tourist attraction.

Foumban city is one of Cameroon’s major attractions and an important centre of traditional African art. Some of the major important things found in the palace include a multitude of royal gowns, arms, musical instruments, statues, jewellery, masks and colourful bead-covered thrones carved in the shapes of the men who sat on them and seat of power for the Bamoun people.

There is also the Musée des Arts et des Traditions Bamoun which is not far from the Palace. This extensive collection has exhibits on Bamoun history and art, including cooking implements, musical instruments, pipes, statues, masks, gongs and an ornately carved xylophone.

A graduate of Enam in 2018, Nabil Njoya was, some time before his induction, head of the legal division in the services of the governor of the southern region.

Having become a traditional chief, the new sultan is now forced to abandon all civil engagement. Nabil Njoya should therefore abandon his office in Ebolowa, in the south, to settle permanently in those he now holds in the sultanate of Foumban.

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Culture

Russia Hosts Royal Wedding After 100 Years

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A descendant of Russia’s last emperor Nicholas II has wed in a lavish ceremony on Friday, marking the country’s first royal wedding since the Bolshevik revolution overthrew the monarchy a century ago.

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov tied the knot with his Italian fiancée Rebecca Virginia Bettarini at St. Isaac’s Cathedral in St. Petersburg in front of dozens of royal guests, the local Fontanka.ru news website reported.

Romanov said that the couple chose the former imperial capital for their nuptials because it was the first place in Russia where the family returned following the Soviet collapse.

“It is very, very close to our family,” he told Fontanka.ru, adding that St. Petersburg is “the history of Russia” and “the history of the House of Romanov.”

The lavish Russian Orthodox ceremony featured Fabergé wedding rings, Sicilian wine and food provided by catering magnate Yevgeny Prigozhin, who is better known by his nickname “Putin’s chef,” Fontanka.ru reported.

Bettarini, 39, walked the aisle in a white satin gown by designer Reem Acra, who has dressed celebrities like Beyoncé, Madonna, Angelina Jolie and Melania Trump, and a tiara designed by Chaumet, the official jeweller to Empress Joséphine and Napoléon, according to Fontanka.ru.

Among the 1,500 guests were some 50 royals from European countries including Belgium, Bulgaria, Spain and Naples, Fontanka.ru reported.

The guest list also reportedly included Sarah Fabergé and Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

The wedding ceremony lasted approximately two hours, with only a third of the guests invited for reception at the Russian Ethnographic Museum, symbolically founded by Nicholas II.

George Romanov, 40, is a descendant of Nicholas II, who was executed by Bolsheviks along with his family in July 1918 in the city of Yekaterinburg.

He was born in Madrid to Grand Duchess Maria Romanova and the Prussian Prince Franz Wilhelm of Hohenzollern. He spent most of his life living in Spain and France before visiting Russia for the first time in 1992 with his grandfather Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich, a trip he said was “filled with emotion.”

His mother is the granddaughter of Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich, a first cousin of Nicholas II who fled Russia during the revolution and declared himself emperor from exile.

He has worked in the European Parliament and the European Commission and has served as an advisor to the director of Russian mining giant Norilsk Nickel. Today, he works on charity projects from the couple’s residence in central Moscow.

He met Bettarini in Brussels during his time at the European Parliament. A daughter of the Italian Ambassador to Belgium, Bettarini has worked as a writer and lobbyist and now works as the director of the Russian Imperial Foundation. In the Russian imperial tradition, Bettarini converted to the Russian Orthodox faith last year and took the name Victoria Romanovna.

“A new chapter of our life book together is starting. As a writer I hope that the journey ahead will be full of love, suspense and adventure as the first part of our life book was,” Bettarini wrote on Instagram after they went public with their engagement.

Romanov told The Insider earlier this year that he hoped the wedding would show “the nice side of Russia, the beauty, the culture and the history.”

“And to also help tourism get back to its levels if we’re allowed to travel,” he said.

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Culture

Campaign Seeks To Add Congolese Rumba Among UNESCO World Heritage Site

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Congolese Rumba has wide appreciation across the African continent and other parts of the world. There is a campign seeking to conserve it under UNESCO’s world heritage site.

The promotional campaign in favour of the inscription of the Congolese rumba on the representative list of the cultural heritage of humanity of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO ) was launched on August 17 in Kinshasa.

For the Congolese Minister (DRC) of Culture, Arts and Heritage, Catherine Katungu Furaha, the inscription of the rumba will be an occasion to rejoice for the population of the two Congolese shores.

“Today is an opportunity to tell the Congolese population that there is reason to rejoice in the fact that the only thing that we have of very value is this dance of value, this dance of dignity which will be brought to the knowledge and appropriation of the world, ”said Catherine Katungu Furaha.

She advised the Congolese to appropriate and promote the virtues of Congolese rumba:

“First we have to start making this our own, not settling for what we import elsewhere when we have value with us, at home. We need to support this, we need to be informed about what Rumba is and what it brings to us. ”

For her, “the Rumba will bring us recognition, will strengthen our diplomacy, but also somewhere an opportunity to say that with dance, we can turn this cultural industry into a production.”

Catherine Katungu Furaha requested the media to increase the number of programs that promote and popularize this music which constitutes the identity of a whole people in order to provide the public treasury:

“We need to bring money into our public treasury because without putting money into our public treasury, music will continue to be seen as the last line item.”

The UNESCO Representative in the DRC, Jean Pierre Ilbudo, welcomed this “happy” initiative and reaffirms all support for the inclusion of Congolese rumba, after Brazilian Zumba, on the representative list of the cultural heritage of humanity of the ‘UNESCO.

The executive board of UNESCO will in fact meet next October to examine the candidacy for the inscription of Congolese rumba.

Between November and December, it will be the jury’s turn to decide on this candidacy which mobilises the governments, experts, practitioners and technicians of Congolese rumba from the two Congos.

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