ORCHESTRE LES MANGELEPA

Kenya/DR Congo


Orchestre Les Mangelapa are the bearers of a 40-year legacy as East African musical legends. Three of the original singers carry the torch onwards together with seasoned players from Nairobi’s Congolese community. Originally from Swahili-speaking eastern Congo, Les Mangelepa were formed in Kenya. In the ‘60s and ‘70s they created some of East Africa’s most-loved songs and became leading progenitors of the style known as East African rumba. Now the original members are in their 70s but still performing every week at Nairobi’s Vibro Bar with their sweet, flowing three-part harmonies intact. In 2016, they travelled to Europe for the first time at the invitation of Afrika Festival in Hertme, Holland and recorded a new album for Strut Records entitled Last Band Standing. To which we add: still standing tall!

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