Manu Dibango / Nuits D’Afrique Festival

Manu Dibango opened the Nuits D'Afrique Festival last night at The Spectrum with an extravaganza of sounds ranging from Afro, funk to jazz. The evening's music opened with Dibondoko, a 5 piece group from Africa, the Caribbean and Quebec. The band started the groove with their smooth and soulful sounds that kept the masses clapping along for the whole night. The multicultural dimensions of Dibondoko add a wide variety of styles and rhythms to the music they offered. Second up was Macase from Cameroon, they brightened up the stage with their own unique mix of soul, jazz and Latin rhythms. Their vocal harmonies gave me a sense of euphoria that I will carry with me into the next few days.   Keeping the Cameroon rhythm alive, Manu and his sultry sax came out to enthrall the crowd. At nearly 70 years of age, Manu Dibango's performance was spirited, like a child overflowing with energy; he instantly got the whole crowd up and dancing. Dibango was accompanied by a new generation of his homelands musicians, and made the set a showcase of young emerging talents. The sweet soulful sounds of the saxophone were well complimented with the voices from Macase. What a beautiful combination of old and new, meshing together a symphony that expands generations. Manu Dibango is a natural o­n stage; getting the whole audience laughing with his subtle sense of humor and his great smile. He shares African heritage with his audience by invoking the call response gender that maintains the oral tradition internationally. The evening closed with a totally funky version of Soul Makossa, africa's biggest hit of all time. All in all, last night was a wonderful evening of original music that set in motion this 17th edition of the international Nuits D'Afrique festival.

Set List:
1. Di Lambo
2. K. Dansez-moi ca
3. Douala serenade
4. Maya Ma Bobe
5. Mnaga MBolo
6. Aye Africa
7. Weya Muna
8. Oh! Koh!
9. Soul Makossa

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