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Staff Benda Bilili


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Staff Benda Bilili are a group of Congolese street musicians. They live around the grounds of the zoo in Kinshasa, and play music which is rooted in rumba, with elements of old-school rhythm’n’blues and reggae. The core of the band consists of four senior singers/guitarist, who all disabled (they suffered from poliomyelitis when they were young) and move around in spectacularly customized tricycles. They are backed by a younger rhythm section consisting of ex-sheges, abandoned street kids who were taken under the protection of the older members of the band. The soloist is an 18 year-old boy who plays astounding electric guitar-like solos on a one-stringed lute he designed and built himself out of a tin can.

The album
Entitled Tres Tres Fort, the band’s debut album was released on Crammed Discs in March 2009. It was produced over the course of three years by Crammed’s Vincent Kenis (known for introducing and producing bands such as Konono No1, Kasai Allstars, and for the Congotronics series). Kenis recorded the band mostly in the Kinshasa zoo. The album also contains four of Barret & de la Tullaye’s videos

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  • Paradoks

    De Bende van Baflo Bill?

    2 Mar 5:24pm Reply
  • Granbarles

    Staff Benda bilili aê!!!

    1 Feb 2013 Reply
  • pjpcavaco

    LOVE IT !! SAW IT ON FMM 2012...

    31 Jul 2012 Reply
  • Toskae

    Amazing , I love it... this is full of positive energy ...

    4 Oct 2011 Reply
  • el_Kava

    unique music, I really love it . btw, the documentary is highly recommendable !

    5 Jul 2011 Reply
  • hazemAoun

    They do a great music!! I just saw a documentary about their beginning, their story is amazing! VIVe LE STAFF!!

    19 May 2011 Reply
  • PLasmoEsmata

    wow! they are on jools now, @grecian2007 - wish I could have seen them at the roundhouse must have been great!

    17 May 2011 Reply
  • grecian2007

    Went to see them at The Roundhouse and they were wondrous! A superb dance band with irresistible energy and enthusiasm. And if you can't see them live there is the film/DVD documentary which tells of their beginnings and musical conquest of Europe. It's uplifting, moving, laugh-out-loud funny and it'll make you want to dance. No-one's paying me to say this - Staff Benda Bilili are fantastic.

    16 May 2011 Reply
  • kuyffie

    Same in Den Haag, very, very nice!

    24 Apr 2011 Reply
  • ripple58

    Saw this band in Utrecht this week. They were awesome.

    23 Apr 2011 Reply
  • pollepet

    pure music, great, they remember me at the great old Blues-Masters

    5 Feb 2011 Reply
  • doffen89

    Everyone should watch their documentary: Benda Bilili!

    8 Oct 2010 Reply
  • pol-sarenka

    Great concert at Ethnoport in Poznań! Thanks! (3) Positive energy ;-))))))))))).

    24 Jul 2010 Reply
  • maikel_system

    Amazing concert at Etnosur (Spain)! Really good!

    18 Jul 2010 Reply
  • tantawi

    Very very amazing , especially Staf Benda Bililili - thanks!

    20 Jun 2010 Reply
  • mistic_szaman

    Great concert at Ethnoport in Poznań. Thanks! (2) :)))

    20 Jun 2010 Reply
  • margueritek

    Festival Ethno Port Poznan 2010 (Poland)

    19 Jun 2010 Reply
  • Jarcun

    Great concert at Ethnoport in Poznań. Thanks!

    18 Jun 2010 Reply
  • JanViool

    Artikel over Staff BEnda Bililli in New Folk Sounds 129 juni/juli 2010!

    13 Jun 2010 Reply
  • katenagui

    omg! they are amazing... this is the kind of music that makes me happy

    19 May 2010 Reply
  • All 55 shouts

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