Voyages

Album by André Manga

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biography

Native of Yaoundé, Cameroon in Central Africa, composer, arranger and bassist, Andre MANGA built his first musical instrument at seven years old, a pseudo marimba made with bamboo and a part of a tree trunk. Later, he designed a guitar with strings made from bicycle brakes cables as well.

A chance encounter with worldbeat superstar Manu Dibango convinced Manga to pursue a career as a performer although his parents disapproved of this musical leaning. By age 17, Manga was the bassist of the Cameroon National Orchestra. Soon after he relocated to Gabon to become a top session musician.

He recorded a dozen albums with African artists such as Hilarion Nguema, Tou Kone Daouda, Angele Assele, and Jean-Claude Naimro from the internationally renowned group Kassav. In 1988 André moved from Gabon to Paris and toured internationally with Pierre Akendengue. He later became Manu Dibango’s bass player and musical director, as they toured the world. André also joined a group of Cameroonian musicians to perform on Paul Simon’s The Rhythm of the Saints album.

By 1995, he had settled in Los Angeles with the goal of combining jazz with traditional African rhythms. His Narada label debut LP Mother Rhythm appeared in 1998. “A festive package of energetic jazz-driven instrumental and vocal compositions”—Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide. In 2011, André released another album, called Voyages. The album got 5 stars from Lee Armstrong of Jazz Party who described it as ”So hot. It burns me through the speakers".

Andre has produced albums for Prince Diabaté, Manu Dibango, Ashley Maher, Isabelle Longnus, and many others. He has toured and/or performed with various artists including Georges Seba, David Zasloff, Boyz II Men, All4one, The temptations, Karen Briggs, Teshina Arnold, Bebe Winans, Jacky Jackson, Andrae Crouch, Donny McKurklin, Jeffrey Osbourne, Dr Dre, Kevin Tone, Patrice Rushen, Frieda Payne, Kirk Whalum, Marc Antoine, Lokua Kanza, Rick Braun, Peter White, Lao Tizer, Norman Brown, Eddy Murphy and many others.

He currently holds the bass position with singer songwriter global sensation Josh Groban.

“I was sleeping lightly while the bus rolled along my spirit, and my subconscious level and I woke up, startled. I looked around and nothing was out of place but I felt something has happened to me...”

-André's jazz epiphany


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    Manu Dibango Tribute 8:30pm

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