“I am a bad-ass teacher!”
Story by Jon Liebman | August 27, 2014
Richard Bona does not take his success for granted. Since establishing himself as a musician in New York City in the mid-1990s, the Camaroonian bassist has performed with a long list of music luminaries, including Larry Coryell, Michael and Randy Brecker, George Benson, Branford Marsalis, Chaka Khan, Bobby McFerrin and Stevie Wonder. Today the 43-year-old Bona is determined to channel his music acumen toward helping others. “When I visit a country I request that I do workshops with younger musicians,” Bona told Artslink in a recent interview. “I insisted on doing it in India recently, too. It’s important for me to help young musicians evolve and become better at their craft.”
Bona considers himself fortunate to have been born into a musical family and to have been mentored by some of music’s greats, including Harry Belafonte, for whom Bona served as musical director during the famed folk and calypso singer’s 1998 European tour. “I got guidance from them and today I owe it to young people to give back, says Bona.
When he’s not touring and giving clinics abroad, Bona teaches in New York. “I am a bad-ass teacher!” he says with a laugh.