THE REAL TREASURE
Antoine Mwango Armando (1934-2019), alias Brazzos, was a Congolese rumba rhythm guitar player and composer from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Brazzos was a member of some of the most popular Congolese rumba orchestras of the 1950s-60s such as OK Jazz, African Jazz and Nègro Succèss.
Jean-Paul Vangu Diakanua is a Congolese rumba guitar player and composer from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Guvano Brazzos was a member of some of the most popular Congolese rumba orchestras of the 1950s-60s such as African Fiesta National, Festival de Maquisards and Festival de Sam et Guvano.
Nkuka Mathieu Mwana Bitala (1931-2017) was a vocalist and composer from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Kuka Mathieu was a member of some of the most popular Congolese rumba orchestras such as Vox African and Grand Kallé’s orchestra African Jazz.
Emmanuel N’Djoké Manu Dibango (1933 – 2020) was a Cameroonian musician and songwriter who played saxophone and vibraphone. Manu Dibango is best known for his song “Soul Makossa”, that became an international hit reaching the top 35 in the Billboard ranks in 1973, and that was later adapted and used by Michael Jackson and Rihanna in their own recordings.
Jules Shungu Wembadio (1949-2016) was a singer and musician from the Democratic Republic of the Congo who played Congolese rumba, soukous and ndombolo. Papa Wemba’s music path started in 1969, when he joined the music band Zaiko Langa Langa. Papa Wemba was one of the most popular musicians of his time in Africa and played an important role in the world music scene.
Pepe Félix Manuaku Waku is a Congolese Rumba guitarist and composer from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. His style of guitar playing is considered as the third style of Congolese rumba guitar, after the guitar styles of Dr. Nico (Fiesta) and Franco Luambo (Odemba). Manuaku was the main guitar player of Zaiko Langa Langa, an early band of Congolese rumba megastar Papa Wemba.
Pierre Yantula Elengesa from the Democratic Republic of Congo, was the main percussionist of the African Jazz orchestra from 1960 until 1963. In 1960, at a very young age, Petit Pierre traveled with the African Jazz to Brussels to perform for the Congolese politicians who were negotiating Congo’s independence from Belgium.
Augustin Moniania (1934-2014) was a Congolese rumba vocalist, guitarist, contrabassist and composer from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Roitelet performed and recorded with most of the legendary record labels of the golden era of Congolese Rumba such as CEFA, Opika, Loningisa and Esengo and was a member of the OK Jazz and Rock’A Mambo orchestra.
Simaro Massiya Lutumba Ndomanueno (1938-2019) was a Congolese rumba rhythm guitar player, composer and lyricist from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He was one of the key members of Franco Luambo’s OK Jazz orchestra. Simaro is considered as one of the great composers of Congolese rumba, probably the greatest.
Clément Ossinonde is a music columnist from Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo. Clément has hosted several radio shows in Radio Congo and Radio Liberté. He is a former director of the Union of Congolese Musicians (UMC) and the National Union of Writers and Artists of Congo (UNEAC). Clément has devoted his life to the promotion and development of Congolese rumba. Clément has written several books about Congolese rumba.
Jean-Pierre François Nimy Nzonga is a musicologist, historian and former minister from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He is the author of the book Dictionnaire des immortels de la musique congolaise moderne, an exhaustive and rigorous work that presented, for the first time, the biographies of more than 330 Congolese rumba musicians, all explored and documented from a historical, sociological and anthropological perspective.
Lubangi Muniania is an historian from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, specializing in the visual and performing arts of Africa. Lubangi worked as the Director of Education at the Museum for African Art in New York. He has produced educational events for organizations such as Harvard University, Yale University, Columbia University, the United Nations, Africa-America Institute, Sony, AT&T and NBC.
Alan Brain Delgado is a Peruvian-American filmmaker and journalist. His 26-year career includes editing and directing commercial ads, short and long form documentaries, feature-length movies and TV series. Alan Brain has worked as story editor for several prominent Peruvian journalists such as César Hildebrandt, one of the most important Peruvian journalists of the last decades. Alan has also collaborated as an editor, in several projects of the renowned Peruvian Hollywood Film Director and Producer, Luis Llosa. From 2008 until 2014, Alan worked as a documentary filmmaker for the United Nations mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. There, Alan developed a passion for Congolese music and started working in The Rumba Kings.
Manda Tchebwa is an interdisciplinary researcher, historian, and author from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. His main body of research relates to Bantu and Afro-Caribbean traditions, culture and music. He holds a doctorate in Human Rights from the UNESCO Chair at the University of Kinshasa. Manda Tchebwa has been a consultant for several African and international organizations such as the African Union, the International Organization of La Francophonie and UNESCO. Manda Tchebwa has published more than 25 books about African civilisations, focusing on their history and their cultural traditions, 12 of them are devoted to Congolese rumba and Afro-cuban music.
Alastair Johnston is an author and small press publisher from the United States of America. He taught Visual Studies at the University of California from 1979 until 2011. After spending several months traveling through Africa, in 1983 he became passionately interested in the music of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Since then, he has written about Congolese music in WIRED, Whole Earth Review, Songlines and his own online magazine called “muzikifan”. Alastair is the author of the only biography and discography of the legendary Congolese rumba guitar player, Nicolas Kasanda, alias Dr. Nico.
Mirella Bellido is a sound supervisor and sound designer from Peru. She has worked on the sound of more than 20 feature-length films, fiction and documentary, from different countries such as France, Canada, Chile and Peru. She has been part of the sound team behind the award winning Peruvian film “Retablo” and the commercially successful Peruvian film “Once Machos”. She is currently working on the post-production of two new Peruvian feature-length films "Among these trees that I have invented" and "Antonia in life".