Koko And The Congo Allstars

koko

Koko is an outstanding drummer and vocalist from Democratic Republic of Congo. He plays Djembe and congas and is the last surviving congas player from the first generation of Congolese music.

After developing his musical skills Koko joined several bands in his homeland and toured different African countries.

The musicians and bands he joined with at that time included Docteur Nico, Papa Noel and Le Festival de Maquisards of Sam Mangwana and Givano.

He has also joined bands such as Vox Africa of Jeanot Bombenga with Souzi Kaseya and Cercul Jazz of Ntunta Mamadou Edjo du Zaire and Cristoph Njaly former trumpet player of Ok Jazz.

In 1977 Koko formed the Mangelepa Band in Nairobi (Kenya). This band was very successful in Eastern and Southern Africa and they recorded 17 singles and 2 albums.

Following the breakup of Mangelepa, in 1982 he played with Samba Mapangala and Orchestre Virunga in Nairobi (Kenya) and at the same year Koko joined Orchestra Kanzako and spent nearly three years with the band, touring West African countries.

He returned to Kinshasa (DR Congo) to play briefly with Orchestra the Best. In 1985 Koko spent time in Zambia with his traditional group Kalindula.

In 1986 to 1987 Koko joined the Real Sound of Africa in Zimbabwe touring Europe. He spent year 1989 in Japan with his new band called Piga Piga Stars.

In 1990 Koko decided to settle in Britain. He taught drumming in Bristol and started the band Ngoma and played twice in Glastonbury Fesfival.

He moved to London where he formed a group called Soukous Koumbele in 1994. Over the years Koko has held drumming workshops in many different countries including Finland, Spain, Italy, USA and Australia through WOMAD Festival.

He also works with theatre-in-education companies such as Iroko and Zuriya. In October 2000 and June 2002 Koko was on tour with Mose Fan Fan’s Somo Somo.

He is also a member of The Master Drummers of Africa, a most spectacular group whose tour in November 2000 took them to Southampton, Birmingham and the Royal Festival Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall in London.

Koko also frequently teamed up with Abdul Tee-Jay for the band Palm Wine A-Go-Go. Koko is very much in the limelight on the African music scene as he performs with his band Soukous Koumbele at many events in Britain: WOMAD Festivals, the African Music Festival 2004, as well as on TV programs and Andy Kershaw’s and Lucy Duran’s radio programs.

congo allstars

The Congo Allstars

He currently leads The Congo Allstars band and with the band they performed in many big venues and festivals in UK.

With a rock solid Congolese rhythm section, Koko and The Congo Allstars is back to reclaim their crown as the finest dance band in Africa today.

Koko bring Soukous right up to date with funk rumba beats and cutting edge dub reggae creating an irresistible mix.

With leader and master percussionist Koko directing the band, expect a sizzling show that confirms why Congolese Soukous music is one of the most passionate dance music in the world.

The Band

Koko – Vocals and Congas
Eugene – Vocals
Claudia – Vocals
Ladi – Rythym Guitar & Vocals
Burkina – Lead Guitar
Douglas – Bass Guitar
Padu – Drum kit and Vocals

Koko And The Congo Allstars from Music for London on Vimeo.

MFL094

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