With easy rolling vocals and upbeat, cheerful and rhythmic tracks, he is one of the key figures of African music. The legendary Kanda Bongo Man is coming to South Africa for an exclusive performance at this year’s Cape Town Nu World Festival.
If Kanda Bongo Man doesn’t make you want to dance, nothing will. With soulful solos, this talented musician has transformed Congolese music with his brand of soukous and given birth to his signature brand of the kwassa kwassa dance rhythm. Today Kanda Bongo Man is hailed as “the king of kwassa kwassa”.
Kanda Bongo Man has played a significant role in popularising Congolese music across Africa, Europe and the UK since the 1980s. He began his career as a singer for Orchestra Belle Mambo in 1973, developing a sound influenced by the legendary Tabu Ley. His solo career took off in 1979 after he moved to Paris, where his music started to incorporate elements of zouk (originating in the French West Indies) into his music. His first solo albums, Iyole (in 1981) and Djessy (in 1982) were hits that established Kanda Bongo Man in the world music area. Since then he has appeared at WOMAD and was championed by the influential late BBC DJ John Peel. The Bongo Man still tours frequently in Europe and the USA, so for it’s a real privilege for such a pioneer of African music to play at the Cape Town Nu World Festival 2015.
The concert will be held at the Cape Town City Hall on 17 and 18 July. Hordes of exuberant music lovers are expected to take to the dancefloor for two days of ‘Nu World’ sounds. The festival aims to bring together people in the shared enjoyment of live inspiring music. Other talents such as Simphiwe Dana, Mokoomba (Zimbabwe), Dunkelbunt (Austria), Majozi, DJ Paul Waxon, Elemotho (Namibia),Fantasma, Özlem Bulut .(Turkey/Austria), Native Young, Tcheka (Cape Verde) and Derek Gripper will take to the CTNWF stage, along with more acts still to be announced.