Walker Art Center

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CANCELED: Staff Benda Bilili

, US Debut Tour

Part of Despair Be Damned: New Music and Dance from the Congo

“Like all the finest African bands, Staff Benda Bilili’s swirling complexity removes the option to do anything but dance … Havana cantina, Kinshasa slum, psychedelic club, or London arts centre—this crack outfit would tear the roof off anywhere.”— Independent

Join us for an unusual and moving night of music. This 12-member group of street musicians (some polioafflicted) from Kinshasa has become an international sensation for its mesmerizing
sounds and invented instruments. While the band cooks up beaty Congolese soukous and rumba, Staff Benda’s voices conjure the crooners of Havana, the toasters of Kingston, and the Godfather of Soul himself. Expect singer/guitarists perched on spectacular customized tricycles
fronting the group, a killer acoustic rhythm section, and weirdly infectious instrumental solos. Their joyous songs comment on everyday life in Kinshasa with raw power and beauty.

Copresented with The Cedar.


Support provided by The McKnight Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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