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Guinea - Garde Républicaine

Like the Gendarmerie, the Garde Republicaine was a paramilitary organization wi:h an estimated strength of about 1,600 officers and men as of 1975. It reinforces the Gendarmerie in the administrative regions. In Conakry, besides guarding the president's residence, it provided the band and the motorcycle escort that are used in the official welcoming ceremonies for visiting dignitaries. One company guards the portion of Camp Alpha Yaya, an installation near the Conakrv-Gbessia airport, that is used as a political prison.

In the months following the proclamation of Guinea's independence on October 2, 1958, President Sékou Touré dissolved all private orchestras such as La Douce Parisette, Le Tropical Jazz, the Harlem Jazz Band or La Joviale Symphonie, orchestras formed To a strictly Western repertoire, castigated as playing a "music of lackeys."

At independence in 1958 the Orchestré de la Garde Républicaine became Guinea's first state orchestra. From 01 November 1959 they were instructed to drop their European march tunes for music befitting the new nation. Implementing a drastic policy of nationalization of cultural heritage, he ordered the Republican Guard Orchestra to abandon the military marches in favor of musical expressions exalting the rich cultural heritage of the country, especially that of the empire Mandingo.

In Guinea, President Ahmed Sékou Touré‘s effort to be rid of all things French produced an amazing roster of A-list talent. The bands cranked out a mix of Manding agit-prop infused with Cuban rhythms and popular Congolese rumba. It was a union blessed by Toure and his political pal Fidel Castro.

Under the new government’s Authenticité policy, the group was “instructed to drop their European march tunes for music befitting the new nation”. The orchestra eventually split into two groups – Orchestré de la Garde Républicaine 1ère and Orchestré de la Garde Républicaine 2ème – whose only recorded output was a split album released in 1967.

Orchestré de la Garde Républicaine 1ère later changed their name to Super Boiro Band. The band took their name from the Camp Boiro prison, where may of the members had been guards. Members of the band included trumpeter and manger Mamadou Niaissa, vocalist Sane Camara and guitarists Karan Mady Diawara and Mamady Kouyaté. Mamady Kouyaté would later go on to resurrect Bembeya Jazz in the 1990s, and recently he formed Mamady Kouyaté & The Ambassadors.

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Page last modified: 03-05-2017 19:10:53 ZULU