Manu Dibango

It is with deep sadness that we announce the loss of Manu Dibango.

He passed away on 24th March 2020, 86 years old, further to Covid-19.


The legendary Manu Dibango is one of the most thought after musicians of the African continent. Next year he is celebrating his 85th anniversary and  “60 years on stage” with a special tour and a new CD in tow. Manu still takes secret pleasure in breaking the musical chapels, building bridges between continents and throwing passageways between tradition and the sounds of future. M-Ma-Se, M-Ma-Sa, Ma-Mako-Ssa “- the world-famous refrain was used by stars like Michael Jackson, Jay-Z, Omar & Fred or Rihanna. Author, however, is the Cameroonian saxophonist Manu Dibango.

In his school days in France Manu Dibango discovered his love for jazz and learned to play the piano, then gave the handier saxophone preference. “Soul Makossa” brought him the international breakthrough. This was followed by numerous recordings and collaborations with artists such as Serge Gainsbourg, Peter Gabriel, Sting, Youssou N’Dour, Angelique Kidjo and Hugh Masekela. In 2010, Manu Dibango was named Knight of the Legion of Honor. The multi-instrumentalist from Cameroon is a master of fusion and he mixes together, which makes people dance between New York, the Caribbean and Africa. Over the decades Manu Dibango has created a musical style that today inspires young artists, musicians and bands.  After his hit „Soul Makossa“ which made him sell millions of records worldwide Manu started to play a key role in the musical exchange between Africa, Europe and the USA. While „Soul Makossa“ only marked the beginning of an exciting career which now lasts over more than half a century. Manu kept being inventual and producing new music all the time. At his middle eighties, he is still full of energy and a fantastic live musician who blows his saxophone with the groove of his body & soul.





Biographical Notes

Manu Dibango

Who knows? If he had not been born under the star sign of Sagittarius, he might never have had the temperament of a nomad and the taste for adventure.. Having been sent to Europe at the age of 15, he would have come back an academic success. As it was, he was affected by musical grace in the very first years in the protestant temple. Little Manu on the road between Paris and Brussels, thanks to the masters he discovers (Armstrong, Ellington, Young, Parker…), wandering in places where jazz rips the nights apart voluptuously, a musician’s soul was being formed. Then the famous singer Kabasele arrived in Brussels from Zaïre (Democratic State of Congo), and proposes he join their group “African Jazz” to play Congolese music ; Manu takes up the challenge. He features in around forty records, then goes on tour near Kinshasa. This was to be a decisive step. An idea was gradually taking shape during his life as a well-known musician : to invent a patchwork made up of rich and spirited conversations between jazz and African styles of music. Being of an eclectic mind, listening to the sounds of his era – in 1972 Soul Makossa was the first “French” hit to conquer the States – Manu takes secret pleasure in breaking the musical chapels, building bridges between continents and throwing passageways between tradition and the sounds of future.

Marion v. Gaudecker


Merci! - Manu Dibango
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