FabAfriq Magazine

The Afro-Jazz Saxophone Legend, Manu Dibango Dies after contracting COVID-19

Emmanuel N’Djoké Dibango, well known as Manu Dibango was a celebrated Cameroonian musician and songwriter who played the saxophone and vibraphone all around the world. He was one of the pioneers of Afro Jazz and also fused jazz and funk with the traditional Cameroonian music. “It is with deep sadness that we announce to you the loss of Manu Dibango, our Papy Groove,” a statement on his official Facebook page read. His funeral will take place in “strict privacy”, the statement read, asking instead for people to send condolences by email and adding that a tribute will be arranged “when possible”.

The legend who is best known for the 1972 hit, “Soul Makossa” is one of the first worldwide stars to die as a result of COVID-19. The 86-year-old fused jazz and funk music with traditional sounds from his home country, Cameroon.He collaborated with numerous artists over a long career, including US pianist Herbie Hancock and Nigeria's Afrobeat pioneer, Fela Kuti. In 2009, he filed a lawsuit against Michael Jackson claiming he had stolen a hook from his song, Soul Makossa, for two tracks on the world's best-selling album, Thriller. Jackson settled the case out of court.

Top African musicians Angelique Kidjo and Youssou Ndour have led the tributes on social media as thousands of fans around the world remember the great Cameroonian legend.

Rest In Power Papy Groove!


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