African star Kanda Bongo Man announces a gig at Sage Gateshead, UK

African star Kanda Bongo Man, who is coming to Sage Gateshead

African star Kanda Bongo Man, who is coming to Sage Gateshead

One of the superstars of African music, the legendary Kanda Bongo Man, is flying in from South Africa for an exclusive North East show later this year.

He will be at Sage Gateshead on November 22 (2014).

Kanda Bongo Man, born in 1955 in Inongo in the Belgian Congo, left school at the age of 18 to join a local Kinshasa band, playing the hot rhumba sound of the time.

He quickly moved on to play with the Orchestre Bella Mambo in 1976.

Seeking a wider audience, Kanda moved to Paris in 1979, where he first worked in a window-pane factory. His big breakthrough came in 1981 with the release of Iyole which he recorded with Orchestre Bella Bella, with Diblo Dibala on lead guitar.

In 1983 Kanda played WOMAD in the UK and his international reputation was born.

The Bongo Man (his father was also called Bongo Man) sings in Lingala, and his high speed form of soukous gave birth to the kwassa kwassa dance rhythm where the hips move back and forth while the hands move to follow the hips.

Kanda first came to Newcastle in 1991 when he performed at the Harambe Africa! festival which was one of Europe’s largest celebrations of African culture.

He remains a firm favorite on Tyneside to this day and his Sage appearance is eagerly awaited. His infectious school of Congolese rumba has always found a receptive audience in the north east and Kanda did not hesitate when asked by the Jumpin’ Hot Club to fly over from his current home in South Africa for this showcase concert at Sage Gateshead.

The concert will be held in Hall 2 and hundreds of exuberant Geordie dancers are expected to take to the dance floor for a stunning night of African sounds.

Kanda will be supported by Newcastle’s very own Crossings Band. Crossings grew out of an excellent project which brings together refugees and local people in the shared enjoyment of writing and performing live music.

They have headlined major festivals in London and Manchester and many will remember their performance at this years Jumpin’ Hot Jamboree which brought the barn down.

Tickets, at £15, are available from or 0191 4434661.

Source: Gordon Barr|

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