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Jean Bosco Mwenda

b. c. 1929, Shaba, Zaire, d. 1991. This legendary acoustic guitarist was in part responsible for the first wave of Zairean musical ‘authenticité’ in the 40s, turning his back on lucrative engagements in nightclubs catering to the European élite and concentrating instead on reviving African audiences’ pride in their own roots music. He was discovered by South African musicologist Hugh Tracey in 1951, who recorded Bosco in his hotel room. During the 50s a prolific amount of Bosco’s material was released on the South African Gallotone label, spreading the guitarist’s reputation throughout Africa. In the 60s he based himself in Nairobi, recording and performing live to rapt audiences. He also appeared at the Newport Folk Festival in America, and played with Miriam Makeba at the infamous Mohammed Ali/George Foreman fight in Kinshasa. Less prominent after the rise of electric bands in the late 60s, he branched out into business including hotels and nightclubs. Still active on the music scene, Bosco recorded a tribute to President Mobutu’s wife in the mid-80s, and recorded with young stars such as Papa Wemba before his tragic death in a car crash in 1991.
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Opika Pende: Africa At 78 Rpm, Vol. 3

1. Batata Dia Bwanga

2. Molildo Kiruk-Yuk

3. Tolingana

4. March Guitar

5. Arabian Conga

6. Stephen Opio

8. Iyan We Kimoino

9. Ja Bane

10. Tom Tom

11. Furaha Ya Kanu

13. N. Odera

14. Ngosingosi

15. Naswa

18. Mawali

19. Tela, Pt. 1

20. Comic Sketch

21. Nambanda

22. Musungayi Nembwa Matumba

23. Kayanda

24. Masanga

25. Napenda

x

Track List: Rough Guide To African Guitar Legends

1. Fanta Bourama

2. Andinzwi

4. Nea Abe Beto

5. Imidiwaren

6. Pole Pole Ya Kuina

8. Tour A Tour

9. Yekanini

11. Relaxin' At Moribaya (Instrumental)

12. Ja Fun Mi Dub

13. Heritage Ya Luambo

14. Beyou Motema

15. Liyanzi Ekoti Ngai Na Motema (Mouzi)

16. Mbanda Nasali Nini? (Madeleine)

17. Matinda

18. Infidelité Mado

19. Salima

20. Rumba Odemba

21. Liwa Ya Franco

22. Cherie Bondowé

23. Zozo Visi

24. Tour A Tour (Bonus Track)

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