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Kristo Numpuby


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Born in Paris, Kristo Numpuby was however brought up in Eséka (the tropical forest of Cameroon). This is where he discovered a very particular rhythm: assiko. Although he was immersed in a kaleidoscopic musical environment, it was Assiko that really caught his imagination. Assiko is a guitar plucked in a very distinctive way with a rhythm drummed out by knives on an empty bottle. An acquired taste with very particular techniques that, like the blues, represent a way of living rhythm.

When he moved back to Paris in 1986, he started working on material that led to two albums : Assiko City and An Sol Mè. These were followed by tours during which he built up a loyal following. This is due to the fact that Numpuby is also very much a live performer of many talents, alternating between jokes, grimaces and using his cheeks to imitate the sound of a balafon. Although largely based on Assiko, his compositions also feature finely patterned traditional African music, Afro-American folk, blues, jazz and Brazilian and Cuban accents.

Kristo recently recorded with drummer Denis Tchangou (Mory Kante, Papa Wemba …) an album entirely devoted to the chanson legend Georges Brassens. The result is “Brassens in Africa”, an album that illustrates the beauty of cultural crossovers but also a warm tribute to the French poet on African rhythms.

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