Where to start? How about by fulfilling an essential requirement for any world music festival with an outdoor stage: a high-energy dance band, ideally from one of the music capitals of the African continent. Kinshasa has always been a melting pot of great music, known for its vibrancy and innovation, and Jupiter Bokondji has been on its forefront since the 90’s. Now, with his band Okwess International, he takes the full range of Congolese rhythms and influences, and adds rock and funk. There’s plenty to listen to here, but chances are you’ll be too busy shaking “what your mama gave you” to delve too deeply into that.
These guys were the runaway hit at this year’s GlobalFEST in NYC, the annual world music showcase that takes place during the big arts presenters’ conference every January. As a result, they are the “buzz band” in global music for this year’s festival season, and for good reason. They put on a show that you won’t want to miss. So yes, by all means, let’s start here!
To read more about the artist, catch a video, and more, visit Jupiter & Okwess’ artist page.