Tribute Concert in Memory of Lokassa Ya M’bongo Hits NewYork


by Grace Chigbu

On Tuesday, March 14th, 2023, the world of Soukous music lost one of its great pillars, Lokassa Ya M’bongo. Lokassa was not only a legendary guitarist but also a composer, arranger, and producer who contributed significantly to the development of the Soukous genre. His passing was a significant loss to the music industry, and his contributions to the Soukous music genre will always be remembered.

In honour of Lokassa’s memory, a special New York tribute concert has been organized to pay tribute to the late legendary guitarist. The concert is scheduled to take place on Saturday, April 22nd, 2023, at Silvana Harlem, located at 300 West 116th Street, New York, NY 10026, from 3-7 pm. The concert will feature Lokassa’s musical children and former collaborators, who will come together to give the legend a last farewell and raise funds towards his burial service in Kinshasa, organized by Nkumu Katalay, and other artists.

The event promises to be a memorable one, as several notable artists have been confirmed to perform at the concert. Venus Labelle, Emma LeGrand, JP Kalonji, Teddy Magaspoon9-11, Guitarist Hussian Kanlonji, Charmanto Nkole, Guitarist Justin Mato and others will perform at the event and pay tribute to the late Lokassa M’bongo.

Lokassa Ya M’bongo’s music was deeply rooted in the Soukous genre, which originated in the Democratic Republic of Congo. His guitar playing style was unique and was characterized by its fast-paced rhythms, melodic leads, and intricate fingerpicking. Lokassa was also known for his ability to blend different styles of music, such as Rumba, Reggae, and Zouk, into his Soukous compositions, which made his music stand out.

The upcoming New York tribute concert is expected to showcase the best of Lokassa’s music, as his musical children and former collaborators come together to celebrate his life and contributions to Soukous music. The concert will also be an opportunity for fans of Soukous music to come together and pay tribute to a legend who left an indelible mark on the music industry.

In addition to the musical performances, the concert will also feature speeches from Lokassa’s friends, family, and fellow musicians, who will share their memories of the late guitarist. Attendees will also have the opportunity to contribute towards Lokassa’s burial service in Kinshasa, as funds raised from the event will be directed towards this cause.

Overall, the upcoming New York tribute concert for Lokassa Ya M’bongo promises to be an unforgettable event for fans of Soukous music and those who loved the late guitarist’s music. It is an opportunity to celebrate the life and legacy of a legendary musician who will always be remembered for his contributions to the Soukous music genre.

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