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Ngola Ritmos

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Biography

Ngola Ritmos was formed around 1947 by Carlos do Aniceto “Liceu” Vieira Dias, Domingos Van-Dúnem, Mário da Silva Araújo, Manuel do Passos and Nono Ndongo. In the 1950s, the band comprised Liceu, Nino, Amadeu Amorim, José Maria, Euclides Fontes Pereira, José Cordeira, Lourdes Van-Dúnem and Belita Palma. The band was created as an assertion of their Angolan identity; they sang in Kimbundu and translated traditional songs into popular, danceable music. Their lamentos were inspired by the daily chronicles or funeral laments sung by bessangana women and their sembas by popular dances. Ngola Ritmos, among the progenitors of semba, created a style of music that influenced generations of Angolan musicians.

Most of the members of Ngola Ritmos were nationalist militants. Liceu (a founding member of the MLPA liberation movement) and Amadeu Amorim were arrested in 1959 and deported to the Tarrafal prison in Cape Verde, to return only ten years later. Nevertheless, the band lasted until the late sixties.

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