I’m beyond ecstatic to report that several Congolese legends, including one of my absolute favorite singers, Nyboma Mwan’dido (whose music opens every episode of CAVACHA EXPRESS!), will be in my city this week. Performing as the group Soukous All Stars, they’ll give a FREE concert this Thursday, August 23, at Lincoln Center.
This is the concert of my dreams…literally and figuratively. Just this morning, I dreamed that I came across a man singing Bella Bella’s “Mea Culpa” (which features a young Nyboma) and I started singing along with a huge grin, much to his amazement. I think I was anticipating Thursday’s concert. It’s so rare that I hear the Congolese songs I adore outside my living room speakers or my IPod. Even less rare that I get to SEE the musicians LIVE and sing along with them.
And sing along, I expect to do, since Soukous All Stars’ repertoire includes songs from the several decades of Congolese popular music’s existence. The band’s amazing lineup includes, in addition to Nyboma, singer Luciana Demingongo (I love, love his song, “Dit Lopa,”), singer Lokassa Ya Mbongo and guitarist Ngouma Lokita of Soukous Stars fame, and many many more.
Read more about Soukous All Stars in this interview with Afropop‘s Banning Eyre, which includes a clip of the band performing one of my favorite songs, “Amba” by African All Stars (yet another Congo all-stars band that included Nyboma), with some Zaiko flavor added at the end.