12 December 1933, Douala, Cameroon. Sent to France to complete his education in 1949, Dibango lived in Paris until 1956. By now a proficient saxophonist and classically trained pianist, he then moved to Brussels, Belgium. In Brussels, he played regularly at the Black Angels Club, developing his fusion of jazz and Cameroonian makossa music. In 1960, he joined the band led by the father of modern Zairean music, Joseph Kabasele, then toured Europe with African Jazz. Returning to Zaire with Kabasele, he stayed with African Jazz until 1963, when he returned to Cameroon and formed his own band. In 1965, just as the soul music explosion was hitting Europe, Dibango returned to Paris, where he supported himself as a studio musician, also backing up visiting black American and African musicians.
Dibango recorded his first album, Manu Dibango, in 1968, followed by O Boso (1971) and Soma Loba (1972). Informed by jazz and R&B, all three albums were...
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