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Jean-Pierre Simons + Danjuma & Onola
Appearing Live at Moes Alley
Sunday, June 14th
CD Release Dance Party For "Sentimentally...To Africa"
8:30 PM, $9/12,

Moe's Alley proudly presents Afro-Pop sensation Jean-Pierre SImons for a CD Release celebration of his brand new album "Sentimentally...To Africa".  Jean Pierre will be backed by an all-star band including Santa Cruz's own Danjuma Adamu on guitar.  Come out and show your support for world music for this very special Santa Cruz debut performance.  Danjuma & Onola open the show.

JEAN-PIERRE SIMONS is an international Artist from Cameroon by way of Paris, France. His music experiences began early in his life, performing at annual school and community feasts. Jean-Pierre formed a band at age fifteen and used all of his free time endeavoring in music composition and song writing. In 1974, he joined a semi-professional orchestra playing feasts and marriages. He was later selected as lead vocalist in the Junior college band , the ” Lycée Polyvalent’s Band”. Jean-Pierre also performed regularly at weekly jam sessions sponsored by the French Cultural Center in Douala. He was selected the “ Best New Artist” for four consecutive weeks. This became the catalyst for his professional career.

Jean-Pierre’s big break came in 1977 when he was contracted to perform as lead vocalist at “CLUB LA JUNGLE”, a renowned Cameroon area hot spot. Jean-Pierre was a “ LA JUNGLE” regular for four years. In 1981 he went to study in Europe where he was admitted to “ L’ECOLE NORMALE DE MUSIQUE”, a noted Parisian school of music, on Boulevard Malesherbes. He studied Harmony, Solfeggio and Arranging.

In 1985, Jean-Pierre produced and released a Single “ BROKEN-HEART” and “ A HEART IN LOVE “, through his own label “Victory Productions” (later renamed “Sighe’s Victory Productions). Both songs were hits in several African countries. Most notably,” BROKEN-HEART “ remained No 1 on Africa Number One (a prestigious international radio station in Africa, based in Gabon) for several weeks.

In 1988, Jean-Pierre decided to move to the United States.
What brought Jean-Pierre to America after seven years in France? “The USA is the real place for music. As a musician, I was drawn to the creative climate that encourages producing original musical work”

ABOUT THE MUSIC

Jean-Pierre’s music combines African melodies and rhythms from Cameroon (such as Makossa, Lali and others), with European & American styles of music arrangement. ” Music cannot be confined to the narrow space of one’s own country or people. It is a universal gift of God to mankind.”

In 2002, Jean-Pierre released another Single with two tracks :”Like A Friend” and “Aime-Moi”, designed to herald a full album, now released : "Sentimentally...To Africa".

Current Production

The current production is a dual project with a full album CD and a video production of a NEW Dance called ESSEWÂNGO.
The album features 13 tracks, of which 6 songs are in English and 7 in French. They are a nice blend of rhythms from Cameroon with the Afro-fusion or Afro-pop that immediately places it in the International context. Two of the French tracks have versions in Italian and Spanish (not presented in this album, but are in almost all completed and ready for later release).
The harmonies in the songs are constructed in the African tradition of singing that draws the listener’s emotional attention. They quickly stick in the mind and convey the marvelous impression of something one always knew.

Instrumentation
Discography - Broken-Heart Maxi 45 RPM (1985)
- Like A Friend - Single (2002)
- Sentimentally...To Africa (2009) ; full album (13 tracks)
 

I am very excited to present for you the full album heralded by the single, “Like A Friend“ and  “Aime-Moi”. Thousands of you have visited my website and downloaded the free screensaver produced by Dajarabi and his team over in France. I appreciate your encouragement. You’ve been great!

The album has 13 tracks with songs in English and French. They are all original songs (except for “Aime-Moi”, which I co-wrote with the wonderful composer from the Dominican Republic who I enjoy listening to so much: Charlie Mosquea ). I have also recorded “Aime-Moi” and “Un Amour Impossible” in Spanish and Italian. These versions will become available soon. Stay tuned.

I was blessed with the collaboration of very talented musicians. They all put their hearts and souls into the project. That is forever engraved in my heart. The great musician and producer Randy Emata and virtuoso James Robinson (courtesy of Favored Nations LLC) who participated in the single also worked on the completion of this full album.

A variety of talented and established musicians collaborated with me throughout the project: the great drummer and producer Jojo Kuo, known for his work with the likes of Harry Belafonte, Peter Gabriel, Mory Kante, Fela Anikulapo, and Manu Dibango; Yomi Omidiran, who has worked and toured with Majek Fashek; Maah Simon (Soul), who had been Sonny Okozuns’ band leader for several years; Dennis Ayandira; Clark Gayton, trombonist in Duke Ellington’s Orchestra for several years; Gazu Nelson Jaimie, trumpet player, who has worked with just about everybody in the Latin field, from Tito Puentes to Jennifer Lopez; and, Robert Aaron, an amazing multi-talented musician and extremely humble genius who wrote and directed the arrangements for the horns (Robert has been around, playing with so many musicians that a tentative list would be unfair).

Perhaps this select sample of the people who participated in the making of this full album will hint at the fun I had recording it. I intend to share with you some of the anecdotes and pictures of these fantastic intense months of my life in the essay, “The Making of my Full Album”.

 

In the process of all this, I put together a dance step for a new dance called ESSEWÂNGO. Open the “Video of the Dance” link on my website for an idea of what it’s all about.

I stated previously that Life is a mysterious polyphony - a symphony in which The Great Conductor, known as The Great Architect Of The Universe, helps each of us execute our part, our chart. Well, now it’s your turn to execute your chart with your feet as a dancer. I wish you as much fun as I had with my friends working on this album.

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