Nzamba Lela is a group of sixteen musicians from the Aka clan of the Mbuti in the Lobaye Forest of the Central African Republic. Mbuti music combines chant and simple instrumentation that are played against the backdrop of natural forest sounds. The two sets of sounds intertwine becoming a symbol of the essential nature of their culture. Nzamba Lela has performed in Europe and in festivals in Africa. In 1999, the group toured France and Switzerland for three weeks and in 2000 performed in France, Germany and a Brazilian festival in Salvador de Bahia that is curated by Gilberto Gil. Their work, Alonzo King writes, "like nature, is marked by depth, character, courage, intelligence, humor, love and a resonating sincerity that is steeped in truth. These are the same markings of all great art, both ancient and contemporary; and the same attributes that have inspired me from early on."
During a residency in 2001 at the White Oak Plantation in Florida, Nzamba Lela collaborated with Alonzo King LINES Ballet on the music and movement for People of the Forest (2001). They performed live with the company at home in San Francisco and on tour, including dates in Gainesville, FL; Austin, TX; Burlington, VT; Seattle, WA; and Portland, OR.