Le Grand Kallé et l'African Jazz

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Le Grand Kallé et l'African Jazz
African Jazz at the Hotel Plaza.jpg
African Jazz performing at Hotel Plaza in Brussels, during the Congolese Round Table Conference in January 1960.
Background information
Also known as African Jazz
Origin Belgian Congo
Republic of Congo
(modern-day Democratic Republic of Congo)
Genres Soukous

Grand Kallé et l'African Jazz (often referred to simply as African Jazz) was a pioneering soukous group, and one of the first full-time, professional bands in what was then called Belgian Congo, now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It was founded by Joseph Kabasele Tshamala, popularly known as Le Grand Kallé.

The band was invited to Brussels in 1960 to play at the Congolese Round Table Conference, where they were amongst the first bands to introduce modern African music to Europe.

Among their most popular songs was "Indépendance Cha Cha"[1] (1960), the pan-African hit which, like much of their recorded output, used Latin American rhythms like the Cuban chachachá. Together with Franco Luambo's OK Jazz band, among others, they were pioneers of the soukous, also known as African or Congolese rumba.[2]

Band members Simaro Lutumba, Tabu Ley Rochereau and Sam Mangwana were later successful with their own bands.


This article on a musical group does not include a complete listing of members; you can help by expanding it.


Contributing artist

See also[edit]


  1. ^ (French) http://www.mondomix.com/actualite/725/independence-cha-cha-histoire-d-un-tube.htm "Indépendance Cha Cha" : Histoire d'un tube
  2. ^ Stone, Ruth M. (2010). The Garland Handbook of African Music (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge. p. 133.