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Koko Kanyinda

Koko Kanyinda is an outstanding drummer and vocalist from Congo. He plays djembe and congas and is the last surviving conga player from the first generation of Congolese music. He was first taught by his elder brother and then Kadima, the great master drummer at the time. 
After developing his musical skills Koko joined several bands in his homeland and toured different African countries. The musicians he joined with at that time included Docteur Nico, Papa Noel and Sam Mangwana and the bands Vox Africa and Cercul Jazz. In 1977 Koko formed the Mangelepa Band in Kenya. This band was very successful in East and southern Africa and they recorded 17 singles and 2 albums. Following the breakup of Mangelepa, Koko spent three years with a soukous band, Kanzako, touring West Africa until 1985.  He played with Samba Mapangala's Orchestre Virunga in Nairobi, Kenya for two years. After that, Koko joined the Real Sound of Africa touring Europe. He spent the year 1989 in Japan with a band called Piga Piga Stars. 
In 1990 Koko decided to settle in Britain. He taught drumming in Bristol and started the band Ngoma then moved to London where he formed a group called Soukous Koumbele in 1994. Over the years Koko has held drumming workshops in many different countries including Finland, Spain, Italy, USA and Australia through WOMAD. He also works with theatre-in-education companies such as Iroko and Zuriya. In October 2000 and

June 2002 Koko was on tour with Mose Fan Fan's Somo Somo. He is also a member of The Master Drummers of Africa, a most spectacular group whose tour in November 2000 took them to Southampton, Birmingham and the Royal Festival Hall in London. They performed at the Royal Festival Hall again in March 2002. Koko also frequently teamed up with Abdul Tee-Jay for the band Palm Wine A-Go-Go. Koko is very much in the limelight on the African music scene as he performs with his band Soukous Koumbele at many events in Britain: WOMAD, the African Music Festival 2004, as well as on TV and Andy Kershaw's and Lucy Duran's radio programmes.
Listening to Koko drumming and singing soukous melodies is bound to get you relaxed and dancing. Koko's first CD, Sentimental, on Limpopo Records, is available now!

Koko's debut CD, Sentimental on Limpopo Records