RICARDO LEMVO & MAKINA LOCA
Ricardo Lemvo has established himself as a pioneer with his innovative music. Lemvo's blend of Afro-Cuban rythms with pan-African styles (soukous, Angolan samba and kizomba) has been described by the Los Angeles Times as “seamless and infectious.” From M’Banza-Kongo, Angola, Lemvo is the embodiment of the Afro-Latin diaspora which connects back to Mother Africa via the Cuban clave rythm. Lemvo is truly multi-cultural and equally at home singing in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Lingala, and Kikongo.
Through the years, Lemvo has performed countless shows in many festivals, night clubs, and Performing Art Centers throughout Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Australia. He has released six CDs, Tata Masamba, Mambo Yo Yo, São Salvador, Ay Valeria!, Isabela and Retrospectiva,that have been enthusiastically acclaimed by both print and broadcast media worldwide.
Holy multiculturalism Batman! Ricardo Lemvo & Makina Loca's latest album La Rumba So Yo was recorded on three continents and in four countries and took three years to complete. This labor of love sees Los Angeles based Lemvo diving deeper into his Angolan roots for inspiration while retaining the sounds already deeply rooted within him and his band. This exploration has led to an album that explores different languages, musical influences, and dance forms. La Rumba So Yo sees Lemvo & Makina Loco teaming up with Angolan artists, using Congolese and Cuban musical influences, and Portuguese lyrics to bring their musical message home. It's a world map of musical sounds and it's simply fantastic; it's so globally exploratory it makes National Geographic seem small. Makina Loco's ability to blend and blur both African and Cuban influences is awesome, there are Latin rhythms everywhere and African styles permeating those rhythms; check, "E Moyo," for a fine example of this even though it's a cover of Congolese singer Tabu Ley Rochereau. With fantastic musicianship and harmonies that enthrall, La Rumba So Yo sounds like a street party you have to dance your way through. Bright horns, fantastic bass lines, amazing percussion, and melodies that linger for days La Rumba So Yo has it all. Traveling around the globe and taking it all in is what Ricardo Lemvo & Makina Loca seem to be best at. They have an overwhelming desire to share this with us the listener and you can tell throughout La Rumba So Yo. It's enthusiastic energy, bright musicianship, and positivity is beyond admirable. While I have no idea what Ricardo Lemvo is singing about you get the feeling he and his band had a heck of time making this record no matter what the message or language. This is the sound of sunshine that takes salsa's moving rhythms and blends them with Angolan styles to produce inspirational results!
He has been the subject of various radio and television programs including BBC Radio, Radio France Internationale, Radio-Télévision Belge, National Public Radio, CBS Sunday Morning, NBC Today Show, CNN World Beat, National Geographic World Music, Rádio Nacional de Angola, and Televisão Pública de Angola. In film, Lemvo appeared in the 1998 movie Dance With Me starring Vanessa Williams and Chayanne.
For his European tours, Lemvo has formed a 9-member new super group, composed of musicians of the group KEKELE such as bassist, AHMED BARRY, rhythm guitarist, FOFO VANGU, drummer KOMBA BELLOW MAFWALA. Joining the KEKELE musicians are a few veterans of Ricardo Lemvo’s band from the United States, namely, MOFONGO GIRALDO on trumpet, SERGEI KASIMOFF on piano. Ricardo Lemvo leaves an indelible impression with any and all who hear his music or see him perform. Why? Because, like Lemvo, there is no other.