Went to a fantastic gig at the Barbican last night. A low key celebration of Manu Dibango’s 80th birthday (only low key coz he didn’t want to make a fuss…).
Fellow Cameroonian Muntu Valdo was the support for the evening and entertained with his amazing live loop effects, making one man on his own sound like a full band.
Next up the main man Manu himself strolled on stage and wowed with his mellow brand of jazz for the first few numbers. Then things cranked up a bit with African beats you just couldn’t sit down to.
One of the highlights was a Sax off between Manu and Courtney Pine and (who made a guest appearance), on the song Big Blow. Quite incredible. Here’s a clip of them both together at another gig.
All in all a great night out. Muntu, the band, singers, Courtney, and of course Manu were all awesome. And for a man of 80 years, Manu Dibango can certainly kick it, with a set of lungs any teenager would be proud to own.
Long live Manu! May you celebrate many more, healthy, happy, musical birthdays…
Respect to Courtney Pine (nice London lad) and his lovely words about how Manu had been his inspiration to take the sax up seriously when he was just 16, and subsequently becoming a legend in his own right.