An AfricaSounds Exclusive Feature:
Yondo Sister, live in the USA, on her most recent tour...
Yondo Sister deserves credit for being the one Congolese artist to have made back-to-back tours of the USA with her band over the past year. Her consecutive shows at New York's SOBs have been well received and the music excellent as her touring group has been comprised of top session musicians from the Congolese music scene in Paris. Yondo's energetic dancing moves have found a fond following here in the USA, and her many recent album releases have become more and more sophisticated in their musical approach.
AfricaSounds was on hand at Yondo's recent concert at SOBs Nightclub in New York in order to present the following photo odyssey of her concert. The Yondo Sister concert was promoted by Alex Boicel of Africa Mondo Productions. The show, which took place on Friday, February 15, 2001, was opened by the Nigerian Afro-beat Act Kofo and his Brooklyn based band, The Daylight Stars. Kofo, being a master of the talking drum, launched into a highly percussive set of songs fresh off his debut release, "Proof," which is finally widely available at the major New York music stores and reportedly at Amazon.com as well. Despite some minor mixing board issues, Kofo and his band showed that they are once again ready to lead some excellent outdoor African music events in Manhattan and elsewhere this coming summer. AfricaSounds urges fans of Afrobeat and Nigerian music in general to be on the lookout for this promising artist.
Master talking drum percussionist, Kofo, is currently based in New York with his band, The Daylight Stars (Photo courtesy of Kofo)
At the conclusion of Kofo's set, we made our way downstairs to the artist dressing rooms to meet with Yondo and her band. Yondo, despite having just arrived from the airport and a trans-Atlantic flight, was very upbeat and full of energy.
Yondo Sister and Hortense Fuller of AfricaSounds (Photo by AfricaSounds.com)
We were thrilled to see that Ogui Lutula, former guitarist for King Kester Emeneya's Victoria Eleyson, had joined Yondo's tour as the lead guitarist. Running into Ogui Lutula provides AfricaSounds with the chance to feature this talented lead guitarist who has produced some outstanding works and incidently is great to catch live in concert. This chance meeting with the ex-Victoria Eleyson guitarist was also an uncanny coincidence, as Hortense Fuller of AfricaSounds had collaborated with Ogui Lutula on a Central African concert tour for in the early 1990's that included Cameroon and Gabon. The excellent guitar playing of Ogui Lutula can be witnessed on the classic Victoria Eleyson recording "Pas de Contact," as pictured below.
Lead guitarist Ogui Lutula, formerly of King Kester Emeneya's band
Victoria Eleyson with Hortense Fuller of AfricaSounds (Photo by AfricaSounds)
Yondo and the group are pleased with their previous release, FBI, which has been distributed in the USA by Sterns Music. Clearly, the group intends to continue to focus on expanding its hold on the USA world music market. Once on-stage at SOBs, Yondo immediately let loose with superbly orchestrated dance moves, showcasing a number of new and vintage Congolese dance styles. Her music has surprised some, by actually spanning the styles of the past two decades, and that night encompassed everything from hints of classic rumba to modern dance moves. The following shots were taken of Yondo at her SOBs concert on February 15th.
Yondo Sister took the stage with her blend of highly danceable Congolese music (Photo by Hortense Fuller)
Miguel Yamba on bass and Ogui Lutula on lead guitar provided a sizzling backing for Yondo's dance moves (Photo by Hortense Fuller)
Miguel Yamba provided a thundering bassline throughout the night Lead guitarist Ogui Lutula thrilled the crowd with delirious licks.
(Photos by Hortense Fuller)