Archive for the 'Art & Music' Category

As Waters Gone By: A Family’s Story of Tragedy, Faith, and Love

January 20th, 2015 by admin

As Waters Gone ByIn June 2001, Limbe in Cameroon, experienced one of the worst tragedies imaginable. Two days of torrential rains drove a cataclysmic flood through this town, triggering landslides that destroyed most of the city and killed many of its residents. A new book – As Waters Gone By: A family’s Story of Tragedy, Faith, and Love – set in Cameroon and in America, is an account of that event and its aftermath.

Here with the links:

 

Tate Publishing

Asome Bide, Author

FOC Friend Wins Best Male Artist Award for 2012

April 15th, 2013 by admin

The Palais de Congres was the place to be on March 30th, 2013, to witness the 9th edition of Cameroon’s Annual Music Awards, honoring the best of Cameroon’s vibrant music industry. The audience included prominent figures in Cameroon, ranging from leading stars of the entertainment industry to government ministers, Ambassadors, politicians, and stars of the music industry, past, present and future.

“C’est Notre Hollywood!” Sparkling dresses, flashing cameras, the red carpet, and anticipation in the air. There were thirteen categories of awards announced throughout the night, with many Cameroonian talents were nominated for the prestigious awards. The exciting night featured both memorable award presentations and vibrant performances by the artists. The evening drew to a heart-stopping climax when Cameroon’s Minister of Culture stepped forward to announce the final and most prestigious award, honoring the “Best Male Artist of the Year 2012.”

With suspense tugging on each word, the Minister announced the winner: Prince Ndedi Eyango, a Cameroonian musician, who launched his singing career 30 years ago. After releasing a series of best-selling albums, he toured extensively in Europe and Africa and then moved to the U.S. to expand his opportunities through performances, to study music and enhance his artistic knowledge, and produce a number of upcoming stars.

During 17 years of a music career in the U.S., Prince Eyango performed at major festivals and events in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Asia, quickly becoming the truly international star that his fans knew him to be already. He was the headline performer for the Friends of Cameroon gala celebrating Peace Corps’ 45th anniversary, and a longtime supporter of FOC. Prince Eyango returned to Cameroon as an American citizen, with one goal–to bring his U.S. music knowledge to expand his career as a musician and producer, and to promote the vibrant culture and musical talent his country of birth, Cameroon. Recognized when he received Cameroon’s Artist of the Year Award in 1987 with his major hit, “You Must Calculer,” he has hit after hit in the years since, and released his latest hit album, “Appelle Moi” in October 2012. With this latest honor, musical historians are certain to note Prince Eyango for his lifelong achievements, just as his fans have done for years!

Peace Corps shipment to Cameroon

January 24th, 2013 by admin

Sean Denny is a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Cameroon. He recently worked with a team of other volunteers and many stateside supporters to fundraise to bring 22,000 books to students throughout the country.

“My school has done a wonderful job renovating a dilapidated classroom for the books,” Sean said. “The BFA project inspired the village to donate a huge amount of money to renovate this large room and put electricity in it. So community involvement has been great.” The container of books arrived in Douala on December 24, 2012, and though there is still work ahead to unpack, sort, and set up books, everyone is excited to start enjoying the new library!

Learn more about Books for Africa.

Look Who Has a Book – Dean-Mahon

July 15th, 2012 by admin

One moment Dean Mahon was resting in his Russian hotel room, contemplating a walk to Red Square to see Paul McCartney in live concert. The next he was in an induced coma… Buy the book to find out what happened.

Cameroon RPCV raising cain in a sultry way

August 24th, 2009 by admin

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by: JOHN STANCAVAGE
Tulsa World Business Editor
Sunday, August 23, 2009

When Cindy Cain steps up to the mike, temperatures rise.

The Tulsa singer’s stock in trade is the sensual side of jazz, whether wrapping her husky voice around standards such as “Make Love to Me,” “The Man I Love” and “Something Cool,” or leading a spirited call-and-response on the chorus of the jump-blues “Banana Tree.”

Even in that last tune, which Cain wrote, it doesn’t take long to grasp that the object of her desire has an appeal that’s far beyond agriculture.

Those four songs are among the standouts on Cain’s new album, “Rhythm & Romance,” recorded live last spring in the Primo Room at Brookside’s Ciao restaurant. Cain will hold a release party for the CD there Saturday night.

“I guess there can’t be any harm in being perceived as sexy or sultry,” Cain said with a chuckle during an interview. “But, really, the songs on this record are mainly those done by singers whose voices I’m attracted to.”

Cain quickly names Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Carmen McRae as three jazz legends at the top of her list.

Like those vocalists, Cain has an impressive range and power to spare. Another trait the local artist shares with them is she goes full-throttle only when it serves the song. Otherwise, she focuses on such increasingly rare skills as nuance and phrasing.

Cain, who was born in New Mexico but grew up in Pryor, has built an impressive resume. She has a roomful of awards, many earned during years spent performing professionally in Washington, D.C.

The singer decided to return to Tulsa in 2001 after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease that involves the central nervous system.

“I didn’t know what trajectory it would take, so I decided to move back home,” she said.

Until now, she hasn’t spoken publicly about the MS. Apart from sapping her energy from time to time, however, the ailment has proved to be manageable. One only has to look at the 50-year-old Cain’s hectic schedule this year to see that’s true.

Along with four months of pre- and post-production on “Rhythm & Romance,” she gigged steadily with a blues band and had one of the lead roles in the SummerStage production “Onstage at the Midnight Social Club,” along with fellow jazz divas Pam Van Dyke Crosby, Rebecca Ungerman and Annie Ellicott.

And, like many musicians, Cain holds down a day job. She handles marketing and public relations for an area telecommunications firm.

Cain’s dual careers are the product of an adventurous streak that started after her graduation from Oklahoma State University in 1983.

She initially spent a few years as a newspaper reporter. Tiring of the crime beat, she volunteered for the Peace Corps and taught English in a government school in Cameroon. That’s when she began to dabble in music, performing in a restaurant for food and drinks.

“I had these cassette tapes that I had stolen from my mother,” Cain remembers. “‘Make Love to Me’ was on one of those tapes. That’s how long I’ve been singing that song.”

In 1989, Cain moved to Washington, D.C., to work as press secretary for U.S. Rep. Dave McCurdy. Her growing love for jazz and blues took her to the area’s many clubs, first to sing for fun and later full-time after McCurdy lost an election.

“From 1995 to 2000, I played about 140 shows a year,” she said. “It was hard work. I had to make about 20 phone calls to get each gig, and I needed 20 gigs a month to make a living.”

During that time, she put together a demo tape, which remains unreleased, and recorded her first album — a rhythm-and-blues-oriented collection called “Love Contest.” That 1998 CD still is for sale on Amazon.com.

After returning to Tulsa, her mother took her to Tulsa Jazz Society events, and Cain quickly found her niche on the local scene.

With a weekly shot keeping her MS in check, Cain hasn’t lost her restless nature. Over the past few years, she has maintained a calendar of steady jazz gigs and also can be heard playing cabaret, blues or country-roots as the mood strikes her.

She even recorded an album of original, Americana-flavored songs in 2006. The disk, “In Your Impala,” didn’t stray far from the Cain template, with the cover depicting the bare-shouldered singer canoodling with an admirer in a drop-top version of the title automobile.

For the next few months, however, Cain plans to focus on jazz. After all, she’s got a new record to promote.

“Eventually, I want to get the songs from ‘Rhythm & Romance’ on iTunes and (online retailer) CD Baby,” she said. “The record will be in some local stores as well.”

Until then, your best chance to grab a copy is at a live performance, such as Cain’s show Saturday at Ciao.

Be sure to get plenty of ice in your drink, however. The room is about to heat up.

PCV Quiltmaking Project

July 9th, 2009 by admin

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PCV Abba Greenleaf reports that she has a growing quilt-making project going in Cameroon. She is serving in Mayo Darle, Adamawa, as a Health Volunteer, and is originally from Iowa City, Iowa. Before joining the Peace Corps, she studied Public Health at George Washington University.

“I started quilting when I met a woman, Mairama, who is located in a village near the Nigerian border. She is an Umbororo woman who has been in Cameroon for about 9 years, since the Umbororo/Mambila conflict that forced her and her family to flee Nigeria. She was looking for a way to make money and so I taught her how to hand quilt. Now we have 9 women hand quilting and 3 piecing (using a machine to put the pieces together).

“Each month we have a meeting where I teach the women about a health topic and they get paid for their work and receive new work. They are learning, (petit a petit), how to be independent in their work, since I will be leaving Cameroon in December of this year. This means I am teaching them about budgeting, cotising money to buy supplies.

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“It has been incredibly exciting to see these women learn the trade, turn it into a beautiful art while at the same time supporting their families. All the quilts are pieced on a machine, then hand quilted. Prices depend on size and the difficulty of the quilt. The smallest quilt usually costs about 15,000 cfa ($30) with the most expensive (large enough to cover a double bed) is usually around $100. All the quilts have pagne, and some are mixed with monotone color fabric to help ease the intensity (pagne is very bright and busy!). As you can see in the pictures, there is also the possibility of using the PC fabric. We chose to mix the fabric with green, yellow and red since those are the national colors. 🙂 However, there are lots of different designs we can try out.

“If people are interested in ordering quilts; the address to use is agreenleafpccam@yahoo.com .

“My village actually just got electricity on the 20th of May, for 4 hours every night, but we are still a long way from Internet!
quilt4-lisa-745

Cameroonian Cultural Festival

November 8th, 2008 by admin

The first ever Moghamo-American Cultural Festival, taking place on November 22 in Batibo, will be a day long event highlighting and celebrating the traditional culture of the Moghamo people, American culture, and the work of Peace Corps in Cameroon. There will be traditional dances, dishes, and music; cratfs and artisans; free HIV testing; resources and information from local community development, health, and agriculture organizations; demonstrations and sensitizations by PCVs from around the NW province relating to their various fields of work; displays of Moghamo and American culture; practical information about the American presence in Cameroon; and performances of American music and dance by PCVs.

The festival is designed to draw a large crowd and expose them to as much information as possible while also celebrating the culture and tradition of the area. Traditional rulers, local elites, government officials, and representatives of Peace Corps and possibly the U.S. Embassy will be attending as well as citizens from all 22 villages of Batibo subdivision. Essentially, we are trying to publicize this event as much as possible. If there is any way that you can help us get the word out to people here who might be interested in attending, it would be greatly appreciated. And if you have any questions or would like more information please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Thanks!
Seth Shapiro
PCV, Batibo, NW
75 34 85 95
sshapiropccam@yahoo.com