BLACK BAZAR is a musical concept introduced and produced by the writer Alain Mabanckou in 2012 with the support of the label Lusafrica, and managed by Caroline Blache. The first album featured a return to the musical roots of Congolese Rumba. Audiences were enthusiastic and the numerous artists involved in the project hailed as "the new masters of the African scene in Paris".
The musicians in Black Bazar
*Popolipo aka « Mister Beniko Zéro Faute » is a living legend. By age fifteen, he was already one of the guitarists emblematic of Congolese rumba. One of the first original members of the group Zaiko Langa Langa, Mister Popolipo was one of the creators of the “soukous” guitar and his solos, considered classics, can today be found on the playlists of most Congolese groups. The track by Passi, « Bisso na Bisso », for example, owes much to Polipolo’s lively rhythms that charmed audiences in France and the francophone world.
*Caien Madoka, a genuine magician on the rhythm guitar, has played with Kinshasa’s most famous groups, notably with Luambo Makiadi (Franco). His precise notes and the spontaneous nature of his inspiration have become distinguishing features of Black Bazar’s unique sound.
*Do Akongo Dikoel
A rhythm guitarist in Koffi Olomidé’s band Quartier Latin, for whom he composed several successful rumbas. Do Akongo is also an extraordinary lyricist, a key pillar in Black Bazar who composed the tracks for the first album.
*Michel Lumana aka « Michel Bass », a whiz kid on the bass guitar, he has played with a number of artists including Passi, Jessy Matador, Wenge Musica Maison Mère de Werrason, Ferre Gola and Fally Ipupa. The album « Round 2 » » marks his debut as a lyricist and composer.
*Jimmy Kusekimina aka « Jimmy Mbonda »
A drummer since his days in Kinshasa where he got ready for the fray playing in neighborhood ensembles and some of the capital’s big orchestras, Jimmy is considered one of the undisputed guardians of traditional sounds.
*Willy and Djudju stand out for their drumming technique that has brought a refreshing and colorful sound to the rhythm of the rumba in Black Bazar: Willy, originally from Cameroon, provides a hint of makossa, whereas Djudju’s staccato rhythm is inspired by the sounds of Kinshasa.
*Ballou Canta is one of the founders of « soukous », the rhythm that gave birth to today’s ndombolo. The man with the velvet voice brings to Black Bazar a discography that occupies a place of choice in the musical repertoire of the two Congos. A well-known figure on the international music scene where he has remained active, he is a central player in Black Bazar.
*Pim’s Lomena trained with Papa Wemba’s band Viva la Musica. His voice, as « «beautiful as a nightingale’s », is emblematic of a new generation of artists that only the DRC seems capable of producing.
*Roi David hails from Kinshasa and is widely recognized as the leading atalaku of his generation. Discovered by Wenge Musica Maison Mère de Werrason, he is famous for whipping crowds into a frenzy with his supersonic animations inspired by the folklore of peoples from the neighboring provinces of Kinshasa, Lower Congo, the Equator region, and from Western Kasai.
*Karashika is a star atalaku from Congo-Brazzaville who worked with Extra Musica, the leading musical ensemble in the country. His vocal tones are both gentle and broken and well-known to Afro-Caribbean nightclubbers in Paris.
*Hawa et Maïmouna Coulibaly
Dansers from the « Les Ambianceuses » company directed by Maïmouna Coulibaly, Hawa and Maïmouna fire up the crowds at the Black Bazar concerts with their performances that bring together tradition and modernity.