My performance group has a master percussionist (also from the Congo) who regularly performs with us as well as travel the world to beat fantastic rhythms with various artists. Imagine our surprise when he introduced us to his mentor who is highly requested throughout Europe.
The night went wonderfully as I struggled with my rusty french trying to understand the Congolese performers and the French lighting tech. Hearing Mr. Kanza for the first time was beyond words. He performed with his guitar, one percussionist and two back up singers and the sound was identical to the CD. (which has been in my CD player since last week)
We had one set with our drummer and his mentor with us dancing before we changed and sat in the audience as Mr. Kanza sang in French, but quickly switched to English when he realized the audience understood and responded in French. In his words "if you can speak in French, I can speak in English." We rushed to change back into costumes and did an upbeat finale in which he stated he "wasn't prepared for the beautiful women to dance around him, they must join us again when we come back."
Indeed, Mr. Kanza we will :)
Here are the specifics from the show and a slide show with Mr. Kanza's music with pictures from our performance. We danced to a more upbeat number, but this song is one of my favorites:
Lokua Kanza, one of the most accomplished International Congolese recording artists on the scene. He is a prolific singer, songwriter, and composer known for his soulful folksy sound, unusual in the land of Soukous. He has worked and performed with the top names in the business such as Papa Wemba, Manu Dibango, Youssou N’Dour, and Angélique Kidjo to name a few.
This cultural production aims to promote awareness and raise funds for the tens of thousand of women and girls who are kidnapped, tortured, brutally raped and sexually enslaved daily in the Democratic Republic of Congo's intractable civil war.
Peace & Blessings...