Manu Dibango really needs no introduction – the ‘Lion of Africa’ has been at the forefront of African music for more than half a century. He has proved himself a remarkably versatile force: a gifted saxophonist and marimba player, an African ambassador, a world music pioneer, a creator of disco, a humanitarian and philosopher, a reporter and anthropologist, a lover of everything from funk, hip-hop and cabaret to chanson, gospel and reggae, from Latin, Caribbean music to West African rhythms, but above all…he is a jazzman.
In 1972 Dibango composed the African hit ‘Soul Makossa’, a meeting of big-band American soul and Cameroon’s dancehall Makossa sound, becoming the first African musician ever to record a Top 40 hit in the US charts. The track allegedly kick-started disco, shook up the soul scene and underscored the Black Power era.
Dibango is renowned for bringing musicians together and he has collaborated with some of the most celebrated musicians in jazz and world music such as Art Blakey, Don Cherry and Herbie Hancock Fania All Stars and Eliades Ochoa, Salif Keita, Baaba Maal and Fela Kuti.
Dibango returns to London for his 80th birthday. Expect an evening of celebration from a world-class entertainer and his special guests – music that is a mesmerising mix of pop, afrofunk, soul, hip-hop, electro rock and jazz.
Cameroonian singer-songwriter Muntu Valdo will open the evening.
Muntu Valdo's music is rooted in the blues, mixing African traditions with striking modernity and technical mastery. He's played with some of the great names of African music including Ali Farka Touré, Richard Bona and Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and returns tonight with a mesmerising solo set mixing intricate African guitar lines with loops and samples to create sun-kissed groove heavy Sawa Blues.
Manu Dibango 'Soul Makossa'
Part of Contemporary Music concerts
Produced by ESIP Ltd
Barbican Contemporary Music
London’s home to the boldest new jazz, world, folk, contemporary classical, rock, pop & electronic music from across the globe.