Kuenda Bonga (born: Barcelo de Carvallo) is one of Angola's most important post-independence vocalists. A blend of Angolan, Portuguese and Brazilian influences, Bonga's music has been described as "Latin sentimentality with a touch of Gypsy and Flamenco". Originally a professional soccer player, Bonga attracted attention with his husky voice and pro-independence songs in the early '70s. Forced into exile, Bonga divided his time between Paris and Lisbon. While in Europe, he was exposed to musicians from other Portuguese speaking countries, including Brazil, and became enchanted by the sounds of the samba. Following Angola's independence in 1979, Bonga returned to his homeland and performed with the government-supported orchestra, Semba Tropical. Bonga's 1996 album, Swinga Swinga -- The Voice of Angola 102% Live, was recorded during his performance at the Heimeit Klange Festibval in Berlin the previous year. ~ Craig Harris

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