Skip Nav

Nekuma

Nav

Founder Of Wadadli Experience Band

Bernard Charles (Nekuma) is the founder, Trumpet player, and first captain of the original Wadadli Experience Band from 1972 until 1975.

Founder Of Wadadli Band
Wadadli Experience

Nekuma was the shortest member, the hardest worker, and the one with the most contacts and titles when the band started. He was the architect, organizer, lobbyist, and spirit of the group, and without his efforts and personal sacrifice there would not be a Wadadli Experience Band.

Like most of the musicians in the band at the time, Nekuma had no formal training playing the Trumpet, and he knew very little about the fundamentals and rudiments of music, but that did not deter him, his love and passion for music were obvious, and he was determined to blow his trumpet.

The rehearsal was perhaps the worst time of the day for Kuma, for that's when folks in the neighborhood gather around to hear the band practice so they could see who and what was causing problems. Some use to pick on him, make jokes and call him names, but his love and passion for music were apparent.

Kuma is a man of many modes, interchangeable and unpredictable, never underestimate him. Nekuma is an enigma that baffled even the best musicians and his detractors. He could disappoint you, or impress you and leave you in awe depending on what mode he's in at the time.

It was easy to recognize that Kwesi and Makeda were more experience and capable horn players than Nekuma during rehearsals, but it was not so obvious once the band was on stage. Although Kwesi and Makeda were reasonably good horn players, their ability to improvise was limited, but not Nekuma.

When he takes a solo in a Soka or calypso song you don't just hear it, you feel It. He was a fearless and tenacious trumpet that played outside the box and does things you would never expect from an inexperienced musician; It's a rather strange but interesting paradox.