Sanguma

Genre : Band
Column : Music

Sanguma was a Papua New Guinean musical ensemble active from 1977 to 1985. They combined music from the cultural tradition of Papua New Guinea with Western instruments and were one of the first Papua New Guinean music groups to perform internationally. Sanguma formed at the National Arts School in 1977 and performed in their homeland at the South Pacific Festival of Arts in 1980. Sanguma were nurtured very closely in their early days by the Australian musician Ric Halstead, who was a lecturer at the National Arts School in Port Moresby from whence Sanguma originated.
Sanguma produced three albums in cassette format; the two eponymously titled Sanguma 1 and Sanguma 2 in the late 1970s and in 1983,'Sanguma Suites', an adventurous excursion into progressive/traditional/rock/jazz/fusion composed by band members Tony Subam (East Sepik Province) and Sebastian Miyoni (Milne Bay Province) and ostensibly by these two musicians rather than the band Sanguma, but as the band featured heavily on the album it was in all but name a Sanguma album. The first two albums were somewhat better received than was Sanguma Suites as they were closer to the traditional music of Papua New Guinea. The last album utilised modern amplified instrumentation to supplement the traditional flutes, drums and vocal sequences. Sanguma supported UK reggae band Steel Pulse on a tour of the USA West Coast in 1983, receiving favourable reviews and attracting interest in Papua New Guinea's traditions and indirectly promoting the nascent tourist industry.

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