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Resources


There is a good sized community of Congolese expatriates in the Oakland area. The music and dance performers in that community recently lost their leader, Malonga Casquelord, in a tragic accident. However, there remain several musicians, including Massengo Constant, Kiazi Malonga and Matingou Tintina among others. There is also a well known dance group, Fua Dia Congo (at volunteersolutions.org and congolesecamp.org). The congolesecamp web site has a wealth of information about the Oakland-based artistis, their activities and people who work with them. It also has several slide shows of their drum and dance workshops.

This is the web site of Titos Sompa, one of the most senior and highly revered Congolese drummers. The site has information about Titos and other artists with whom he works, arrangements for lessons, some information about contemporary Congolese music and an online store.

Tambours de Brazza is an explosive drum group based in France. Their CD’s appear to no longer be available but this web site has a short sound video showing them in action and gives some sense of the power and intensity of ngoma music. The group’s leader has added a trap set, a decision not universally embraced. RealPlayer required.

See also:

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=145934186.

The CD cut several years ago by Elima, a group composed of members of Zaire’s National Dance Troup, is unfortunately no longer available. However, the cuts on this album are still available at Calabash Music on line for $0.99 each at this web site. It is incredibly gorgeous music that belongs among the classical treasures of the world. Download it before it is gone forever!

Bichinia Bia Congo Dance Theater is a superb performance group based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It was founded in 1979 by Biza Sompa, a dancer and drummer from Congo Brazzaville, who had traveled and performed widely before settling in Ann Arbor. The group combines cultural exchange, education and pure artistic performance.

*Coming soon: Keep an eye out for Biza Sompa’s new web site for his dance group Bichini Bia Congo based in Ann Arbor , MI.