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Remembering Manu Dibango

The legendary Cameroonian jazz saxophonist Manu Dibango passed away on Tuesday, March 24 at 86 years old, after battling Covid-19. Best known for his 1972 hit “Soul Makossa,” which was sampled by Michael Jackson, Kanye West, and dozens of other musicians, and his unique fusion of jazz, funk, and traditional Cameroonian sounds, the artist will be remembered as a genius by musicians all around the world and as a “big brother, a pride for Cameroon and all of Africa.”

In addition to his artistic work, Dibango was highly engaged in charity and human rights work. In May 2004, he was appointed UNESCO Artist for Peace, in recognition of his tireless efforts defending African artists’ copyrights and fighting against the piracy of musical works. He was also named Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor in 2010.

To celebrate the wonderful life of Manu Dibango, we encourage you to check out a video of his live concert from this October (fast-forward about 10 minutes into the recording for the show). The event commemorated the 60th year of his career and sought to synthesize the influences that nourished him throughout it. We have also created a Spotify Playlist of 6 of his most influential songs for you to enjoy.