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Music Fri, 19 Feb 2010

Armand Ntep @ Alliance Francaise

CAMEROONIAN MUSICIAN Armand Ntep will on Saturday, February 20, showcase his vocal talents and innovative compositions in a concert at the Alliance Française in Accra.

A unique vocalist and prolific composer, his talent is broad in terms of octave and style – indeed he waxes freely from a silky baritone croon to pygmy-inspired syncopation and back to tender tenor ballads.

His compositions encompass salsa, hip hop and traditional "lihongo" from his native Cameroon. While in school, he studied diverse musical styles including reggae, rumba, cha-cha-cha as well as popular Cameroonian "assiko", "makossa" and "bikutsi" beats.

Armand has performed at Farafina, a well-known African night club in the French capital Paris. He also entertained fans at Le Vieux Négre in Douala, Cameroon.

He later formed the group Longue Djam, a band he performed with until 1996 when he moved to Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire for a long-term engagement at Zig Zag, a famous night club in the country.

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In 2000, Armand moved to the United States and performed as a guest artiste on two albums alongside voice-over work, most notably for a National Geographic Ultimate Explorer show on the Republic of Liberia.

His collaboration with a group of jazz musicians led to a series of acclaimed performances with the Afro Jazz Explosion, a group that fuses jazz with African rhythms and beats.

In 2004, Armand performed in a series of original works titled Evolution, created by guitarist John Kamman, which blended chamber music and jazz.

He formed The Armand Ntep Band after the release of his first album ‘Bantuphonic’ in 2004, and it has been dedicated to exposing his rich compositions and vocal versatility.

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