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Bassist and singer Richard Bona leads his trio at KNKX

In his return to Seattle, the extraordinary bassist, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Richard Bona dropped by KNKX’s Studio X for a live session and interview with Justus Sanchez, host of KNKX Evening Jazz.

Bona hadn't been to Seattle since 2016, and he and his Asante Trio kicked off their tour through the United States and Europe with a pair of concerts at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley.

For decades, Bona has brought his melodic mix of jazz, African sounds and pure musicianship to audiences around the world.

With at least 20 solo albums and features galore, the Cameroon-born maestro often sings in Duala, an Indigenous language of Cameroon. “If I don’t sing this language, who’s gonna sing the language?” Bona said.

Although he considers himself a worldwide citizen, Bona moved to Miami from New York during the pandemic and took a break from touring. “I may as well die in a beautiful place,” he joked. That’s where he met pianist Jesus Pupo and drummer Harvel Nakundi who round out the trio.

Listen to the Asante Trio play a pair of Bona's original compositions and an encore performance of Rema's "Calm Down" that the Studio X audience cheerfully demanded before these wonderful musicians left for their soundcheck at Jazz Alley. Thanks to our good friends at the club if the trio was running a couple minutes late, we know you'll find it was well worth it.


  • Richard Bona - bass, vocals
  • Jesus Pupo - piano
  • Harvel Nakundi - drums


  1. Muntula Moto (Bona)
  2. Bilongo (Bona)
  3. Calm Down (Rema)
Justus arrived from KBEM FM Jazz 88.5 in Minneapolis, and the Association of Minnesota Public Educational Radio Stations (AMPERS), in the fall of 2023. For nine years he held many roles including Jazz Host and Production Director, producing a variety of programming highlighting new jazz artists, indigenous voices, veterans, history and beyond.
Abe grew up in Western Washington, a third generation Seattle/Tacoma kid. It was as a student at Pacific Lutheran University that Abe landed his first job at KNKX, editing and producing audio for news stories. It was a Christmas Day shift no one else wanted that gave Abe his first on-air experience which led to overnights, then Saturday afternoons, and started hosting Evening Jazz in 1998.
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