Franco Luambo Makiadi
|François Luambo Makiadi|
|Birth name||François Luambo Luanzo Makiadi|
|Also known as||Franco|
July 6, 1938|
Sona Bata, Belgian Congo
(modern-day Democratic Republic of the Congo)
|Died||October 12, 1989
Mont-Godinne, Province of Namur, Belgium
|Occupation(s)||Singer, songwriter, guitarist|
|Associated acts||OK Jazz|
François Luambo Luanzo Makiadi (6 July 1938 – 12 October 1989) was a major figure in twentieth century Congolese music, and African music in general. He is widely referred to as Franco Luambo or, simply, Franco De Mi Amor. Known for his mastery of rumba, he was nicknamed the "Sorcerer of the Guitar" for his seemingly effortless fluid playing. As a founder of the seminal group OK Jazz, he is counted as one of the originators of the modern Congolese sound.
In 1980, Franco was named a Grand Master of Zairean music by the Mobutu government, an honor that linked him with the ruling elite that was responsible for much of the economic problems beggaring the country. The subject of his songs shifted dramatically in this period to patriotic songs and praise songs to wealthy fans.
Franco only toured the USA on one occasion, in 1983.
In 1985, Franco released his biggest hit ever, Mario, an account of a gigolo who lives off his older lovers.
He died in 1989, resulting in four days of national mourning in Zaire.
His band, TPOK Jazz dominated Congolese music from 1956 until 1989.
- Contributing artist
- Congo Colossus: Life and Legacy of Franco and OK Jazz by Graeme Ewens, Publisher: Buku P. (12 Oct 1994), ISBN 978-0-9523655-0-1
- Gary Stewart (2000). Rumba on the River: A History of the Popular Music of the Two Congos. Verso. ISBN 1859843689.
- Discography of Franco & OK Jazz
- A fan page for Franco and OK Jazz describing events decade by decade
- Franco de Mi Amor, The Village Voice, 2 July 2001
- 1983 Interview with Franco
- The Undying Legend of King of Rumba Music, Luambo Luanzo Makiadi
- Liner notes from Franco phonic - Vol. 1: 1953-1980 by Ken Braun / Sterns Music
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