Africa’s jazz great Manu Dibango dies aged 86


Renowned jazz man Manu Dibango, to many the beloved Papy Groove who served as an inspiration and pioneer of his art, has died with the coronavirus, his official Facebook page announced. He was 86.

The saxophonist who inspired what is known as “world music” was recently taken to hospital with an illness “linked to Covid-19”, his official Facebook page said last Wednesday, adding that he was “resting well and calmly recovering”.

The announcement did not say where he had been taken to hospital, but Dibango, who was born in Cameroon, was known to live in France.

Manu Dibango
Manu Dibango performs in Paris (Christophe Ena/AP)

The artist inspired “world music” in the 1970s with the song Soul Makossa.

Funeral services were to be “held in strict privacy” followed by a tribute “when possible”, Tuesday’s announcement said.

Funerals in France have been limited to 20 people who are in the closest circle of the deceased because of a lockdown to try to slow the spread of Covid-19.


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