So Long Manu Dibango, So Long

In the wake of testing positive for the coronavirus, we have woken up to the news that Cameroonian sax legend Manu Dibango has come to the ground. In a Facebook post shared by Manu’s family, Manu Dibango passed away aged 86 on 24th March 2020 at a hospital just outside of Paris, France.

Born in Douala, Cameroon, in 1933, Dibango’s musical career spans more than 6 decades having started out at Le Grand KallĂ© et l’African Jazz – a rhumba band founded in 1953 by Joseph Tshamala Kabasele.

Picture Courtesy

The virtuosity and precision of Manu Dibango is a given; and in celebration of his 80th birthday, he penned a biography Balade en Saxo Dans les Coulisses de Ma Vie recounting stories of his journey towards reconciling jazz with music from the African continent.

Dibango will be long remembered and greatly missed. Rest well legend.

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When the world is headed for a lock-down owing to Covid-19, what are the implications in the music and creative industries? Layoffs, shutting down of regular activity in favour of online concerts and much more grimly, death. It is hard not to feel a certain trepidation.

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