Thursday, September 18, 2008

Manu Dibango

Emmanuel N'Djoké Dibango (aka Manu Dibango) was born on December 12, 1933 in Douala, Cameroon. Originally trained in classical piano, his musical career began in Brussels and Paris. During a holiday in a camp for Cameroon children living in France, he discovered the saxophone.

In his teenage years, black American jazz icons such as Louis Armstrong and Sydney Bechet had been a powerful motivating force in Manu's life. And in March 2007, the Cameroonian musician paid his own tribute to Bechet, the renowned composer and musician from New Orleans, with a pure jazz opus entitled "Manu Dibango joue Sydney Bechet."

Nicknamed 'The lion of Cameroon', Dibango has been established as the elder statesman of African music, feted all over the globe, collaborating with any number of artists, and continuing to release his own albums. He has been for over 30 years one of the giants of world music.