Music in the country of the Great Congo River
The second largest country on the African continent in terms of area looks back on a dark colonial past. It is still a pulsating hotbed of unrest today due to various political conflicts, where most of the over 100 million people want nothing more than peace. More than 200 different ethnic groups are spread throughout the country, which is primarily defined by the vast Congo Basin with its adjacent tropical rainforests. Accordingly, the diversity of traditional African music in the individual population groups is also great there. Otherwise, the capital Kinshasa has been considered a music metropolis since the early 1920s. Here developed the country-typical, popular and modern dance music in the clubs. The formation OK Jazz with the legendary guitarist and singer Franco, Ray Lema, Papa Wemba or Tabu Ley Rochereau are considered there as the founders of the Souskous and the Congolese Rumba. In addition to Koffi Olomide, songwriters such as Lokua Kanza, young female singers such as Gasandji, or fascinating street bands, especially Staff Benda Bilili, ensure that the music from the DR Congo continues to be heard on international stages.
The man with the golden voice, author of countless hits, bandleader, fashion icon and the king of Congolese rumba came back to the 21st International Africa Festival in 2011 after a ten-year break. His glittering career spans more than four decades of Congolese music history, in which he plays an important role. He was one of the founding members of “Zaiko Langa Langa” and is the most experimental and also internationally successful Congolese musician. In 2011, after a seven-year break, he returned to the international music market with his new CD “Wembadio”. Papa Wemba was at the peak of his career and brought top musicians to his concert in Würzburg. Unfortunately, he only lived to be 66 and died in 2016 while performing in Ivory Coast.
The Mbuti people, or Bambuti, are one of several indigenous pygmy groups in the Congo region of Central Africa. Their languages are Central Sudanic languages and Bantu languages.The Mbuti Pygmies population live in the Ituri Forest, a tropical rainforest covering about 70,000 km2 of the north/northeast portion of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They are pygmy hunter-gatherers, and are one of the oldest indigenous people of the Congo region of Africa.