Staff Benda Bilili: Rumba In The Congo : World Cafe Combining Cuban-influenced rumba with elements of soul, blues and reggae, the paraplegic street musicians in Staff Benda Bilili used to perform all over the zoo grounds of the Kinshasa area, attempting to earn money for a living. Along the way, they caught the attention of Massive Attack and Damon Albarn of Blur and Gorillaz.
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Staff Benda Bilili: Rumba In The Congo

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Staff Benda Bilili: Rumba In The Congo

Staff Benda Bilili: Rumba In The Congo

Staff Benda Bilili: Rumba In The Congo

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Song List

  • "Polio"
  • "Je T'Aime"

Staff Benda Bilili. Courtesy of the artists hide caption

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Courtesy of the artists

A group of paraplegic street musicians from Kinshasa, Congo, Staff Benda Bilili (which roughly translates to "look beyond appearances") creates music with astounding power.

Combining Cuban-influenced rumba with elements of soul, blues and reggae, the band performed all over the zoo grounds of the Kinshasa area, attempting to earn money for a living. It caught the attention of traveling British and U.S. musicians such as Massive Attack and Damon Albarn, with whom they've later collaborated.

After recording a series of songs using microphones, a Mac laptop and cables hooked up to a deserted refreshment bar, Staff Benda Bilili released its debut album (Tres Tres Fort) in late March. Backed by a winning combination of rumba, classic Congolese sounds, African dance and hints of funk, its members emphasize issues such as voting and polio vaccines.

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Album
Tres Tres Fort
Artist
Staff Benda Bilili
Label
Crammed Disc
Released
2009

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