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  • botb April 25, 2016

    Best of The Beat on Afropop: Papa Wemba

    I was a great fan of Papa Wemba. Back in the late ’80s, early ‘90s, when his music became available internationally, I was irresistibly drawn to his powerful, tremulous, emotional voice, underpinned by rich soukous and rumba arrangements. And the … Read more »

  • botb April 18, 2016

    Best of The Beat on Afropop: Journey to the Heart of the Congo

    This installment of “Best of The Beat” from 1993 is what is called nowadays “a good read.” It is a fascinating travelogue and diary from Beat contributor Gary Stewart, author of Rumba on the River: A History of the Popular … Read more »

  • blog June 23, 2014

    More East African Brilliance From Moreno and L’Orchestra First Moja-One

    It’s sad that, in the current wave of Western interest in the classic dance-band sounds of Africa, the Congolese rumba that dominated much of the continent for decades has received fairly short shrift. In comparison with the more accessibly funky … Read more »

  • blog December 2, 2013

    Tabu Ley Rochereau: A History in Six Tracks

      Over the past weekend, the world lost a truly great artist, and one of the pioneers of Congolese popular music: Born Pascal-Emmanuel Sinamoyi Tabu on Nov. 13, 1940, he left the world as Tabu Ley Rochereau on Nov. 30, 2013. When an artist is … Read more »

  • blog August 19, 2013

    RESPECT: Orchestre Kiam

    This is the first post in a new monthly Afropop blog series called RESPECT. The series is designed to feature the work of internationally under-appreciated African and Afro-diasporic artists from the distant- and not-so-distant past. These are artists who may … Read more »

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