Empompo Loway

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Empompo "Deyesse" Loway, was a soukous recording artist, composer and saxophonist, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). He was a member of the soukous band TPOK Jazz, led by François Luambo Makiadi, which dominated the Congolese music scene from the 1950s through the 1980s.[1]


He helped Congolese singer M'Pongo Love early in her career by arranging her music and recruiting a wealthy patron to fund her work.[2] He split up with M'Pongo in the mid-1980 and focused on developing another young Congolese singer, Vonga Ndayimba, known professionally as Vonga Aye and a backing band for her known as Elo Music.[3] Early in 1981 he recorded a number of songs in Benin with guitarist Dr Nico Kasanda.[4] When Nico left Tabu Ley's Orchestre Afrisa International in the middle of 1981, Empompo asked Nico to collaborate on some of his projects.[3] Empompo together with Vonga Aye, Nico and 3 other musicians from Elo Music spent a month in Paris recording at the end of 1981.[3] According to Empompo, they recorded enough material for six albums, but only two were released, both under Vonga Aye's name.[3]

In 1983, in Kinshasa, Empompo and his friend from TPOK Jazz, Sam Mangwana, together with singer Ndombe Opertun, who had recently left TPOK Jazz, formed the band Tiers Monde Coopération. The band was reformed a few years later as Tiers Monde Révolution.[5]

He died on January 21, 1990.[6] Ken Braun, head of Sterns Music's in the U.S.,[7] described Empompo Loway together with Modero Mekanisi as "the best Congolese saxophonists of the [20th] century".[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Michel Boyibanda Was A Member of TPOK Jazz In The 1970s Archived February 26, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ "M'Pongo Love". Rumba on the River. Gary Stewart. 2011. Archived from the original on 2012-04-08. 
  3. ^ a b c d Stewart, p. 295
  4. ^ Stewart, p. 294
  5. ^ Stewart, p. 280
  6. ^ Stewart, p. 370
  7. ^ "Out of Africa, Passionately Packaged". The New York Times. 18 May 2008. 
  8. ^ Ken Braun. "Tabu Ley Rochereau". World Music. National Geographic. Archived from the original on 2011-01-03. 


  • Gary Stewart (2000). Rumba on the River: A History of the Popular Music of the Two Congos. Verso. ISBN 978-1859843680. 

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