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Legendary Manu Dibango to headline International Jazz Day fete in Nairobi

African jazz legend Manu Dibango is expected in Nairobi to headline Safaricom’s International Jazz Day celebrations on May 1st.

The 84-year-old Dibango will be joined by 12 Kenyan bands at the jazz concert to be hosted at Carnivore Grounds

This will be Dibango’s maiden performance on the Safaricom jazz festivals.

Born in Douala, Cameroon in 1933, Dibango is most well-known for his Grammy Award-winning track Soul Makossa.

The song topped the charts in 1973 and went on to be sampled by various musicians including the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson, and U.S-based Bajan star Rihanna.

Dibango has enjoyed a music career spanning several continents over five decades, during which he has worked with artists such as Herbie Hancock, Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrel and Grammy Award nominee the late South Africa legendary jazz artiste Hugh Masekela.

Dibango will be joined by his band – the Soul Makossa Gang – and a line-up of Kenyan jazz artistes including Mwai & The Truth, Afrosync, Edward Parseen & The Different Faces Band, James Gogo, Swahili Jazz Band, Chris Bittok and Eddie Grey.

Also set to perform are husband and wife duo Jacob & Kavutha Asiyo, Shamsi Music, Limericks, Mambo Tribe, Ghetto Classics and Nairobi Horns Project, who will be performing with Africa Plus from South Africa.

“It’s a privilege and a dream come true for us to host Manu Dibango as we kick off the events that will lead up to the 6th edition of the Safaricom International Jazz Festival next year. This will be a celebration of local jazz talent and an opportunity for us to honor all the Kenyan bands that have been a part of the Safaricom International Jazz Festival on one stage,” said a statement from Safaricom chief executive Bob Collymore.