Walker Art Center

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Mbongwana Star with ZULUZULUU

“Listening to it feels like arriving in a bustling, unfamiliar city, a very long way from home: a gripping mix of excitement, apprehension, and sensory overload.” —The Guardian (UK)

Hailing from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mbongwana Star features a new generation of Kinshasa musicians embodying the concept of change (mbongwana) and led by Coco Ngambali and Theo Nzonza, two founders of Congolese supergroup Staff Benda Bilili. Along with maverick Parisian producer Doctor L (Tony Allen), the band creates a sound that embodies the “smashed-together” nature of the surroundings from which it was born. The group fuses traditional Congolese rhythms with European post-punk bass and busted electronics from recycled and reconstructed instruments, amplified and distorted in unexpected ways. Their celebrated album From Kinshasa (World Circuit) has won numerous awards.

The evening opens with the new vanguard of black music ZULUZULUU, made up of six local musicians/producers: MMYYKK, Proper T, Greg Grease, DJ Just Nine, ∆RT P∆RTÉ and Trelly Mo. Armed with synths, drum machines, and instruments, ZULUZULUU explores a modern hard groove sound with soulful melodies influenced by deep funk, jazz, and Afro-futurism.

Copresented with the Cedar.

About the Cedar

The Cedar Cultural Center is an eclectic music venue that is located in Minneapolis’s Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. Over its 27-year history, the Cedar has become a premiere US venue for world music by fulfilling its mission of promoting intercultural understanding through the presentation of global music and dance.


Support provided by Producers’ Council members Nor Hall and Roger Hale.

The Walker Art Center’s Music Season is sponsored by