Manu Dibango plays London

Afro-jazz pioneer and Soul Makossa star Manu Dibango celebrates his 80th birthday with a one-off concert at the Barbican this November

Manu Dibango, renowned for such early international Afro-jazz hits as Soul Makossa and Electric Africa, will celebrate his 80th birthday with a concert at the Barbican, London on Tuesday 26 November.

The concert will feature as yet unannounced special guests and promises to be an evening that mixes jazz, soul, afro-funk and hip-hop over two sets from 7.30pm.

Born in Cameroon in 1933, Dibango first learned piano before taking up saxophone and vibraphone. In 1972 he became the first African musician to enter the US Top 40 charts with his single Soul Makossa, which is often cited as one of the first disco records.

During the past few decades Dibango has collaborated with musicians such as Art Blakey, Herbie Hancock, Don Cherry and Fela Kuti, and in 2004 he was appointed a UNESCO Artist for Peace. The Guardian has described him as "an undisputed legend for followers of anything from world music to jazz, funk and the whole host of other styles that have taken his fancy over the years."

Tickets for the concert are £20 in advance and £35 on the door, and can be purchased online at

Sally Evans-Darby

Photo by Pascal Thiebaut

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