Staff Benda Bilili

Staff Benda Bilili

Staff Benda Bilili

Friday, September 16, 8:00pm
at Herbst Theatre

Staff Benda Bilili — CANCELLED

ATTENTION: We regret to announce that the Staff Benda Bilili performance scheduled for this Friday, September 16 at the Herbst Theatre has been cancelled due to visa complications. We hope to reschedule this concert for the 2012 Spring Season. Please contact the SFJAZZ Box Office at 415-788-7353 or boxoffice@sfjazz.org for more information.

Staff Benda Bilili

The war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo is home to Staff Benda Bilili, one of the world’s most compelling ensembles. Founded by paraplegic street musicians, the band has overcome staggering obstacles. The four guitarists deliver a unique mélange of Congolese rumba combined with Cuban son, lilting reggae and low-down American funk, all while singing mostly in French and perched atop custom-built tricycles. They’re backed by a percussion section made up of street kids, plus the guitar-like solos of Roger Landu —who plays a one-string electric lute that he built out of a tin can. Benda Bilili literally means “look beyond appearances” and the group strongly advocates for humane treatment of the handicapped. Popularity has skyrocketed with their debut album, Très Très Fort, sold-out shows across Europe, a WOMEX (World Music Expo) Artist Award and via YouTube videos. National Geographic will soon release a documentary about the group, which premiered recently at Cannes. This tour marks their U.S. debut, so be among the first on the continent to hear them!

Artist Personnel

Leon Rickey Likabu Makodou vocals
Djunana Tanga Suele vocals
Kabose Kabamba Kasongo vocals
Roger Landu Satonge vocals, satonge
Coco Ngambali Yakala guitar, vocals
Theophile Nsituvuidi Nzonza
  guitar, vocals
Cavalier Kiara Mayingi bass, vocals
Montana Kinunu Ntunu drums

Artist Website

"The explosive debut album from Staff Benda Bilili is perhaps an example of African street music at its finest. " — The BBC
"Pitched somewhere between reggae, old-fashioned R&B and the African variant of rumba called soukous, their music is explosively funky and vibrant. " — The Guardian (UK)