Célestin Kouka

Congo-Brazzaville Célestin Kouka

Album’s Overview
#? kouka-c-celio-et-lorchestre-le-peuple.jpg 1981 [4, 41:28] Kouka C. Celio et L’orchestre Le Peuple - Kouka C. Celio Et L’orchestre Le Peuple (Beau-Saccot Sound 81-BSS-3301) studio • new music 6.75 “Good” Africana
date.png 22-Dec-2014
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Célestin Kouka (known as Célio) was born on February 5, 1935 in Brazzaville. In 1944, while he was still in the 2nd year preparatory course at the Saint-Joseph de Bacongo school in the Congolese capital, he was recognized for his rather exceptional voice and selected as a soprano cantor in the Saint-François choir. Seat of the Plateau. He worked there until 1949 under the leadership of Abbots Kounkou and Fulbert Youlou who, in 1960, became the first president of the independent Congo. After obtaining the Certificate of Elementary Primary Studies, he is admitted to the minor seminary of Mbamou with the desire to be consecrated abbot. But, in 1951, he was dismissed from the seminary for indiscipline and redirected to Chaminade college where he stayed for a year.

It is a memorable musical career which begins in 1952 in the orchestra of the cultural circle of Bacongo. At the same time, he combines this occupation with his function of secretary at the British consulate in Brazzaville. In 1953, he was part of the group Les Compagnons de joie led by Marie-Isidore Diaboua, followed by the creation in 1954 of the Négro Jazz orchestra. Three years later, in December 1956, Célestin Kouka joined Ok Jazz, at the same time as Edo Ganga and Nino Malapet, following the departure of Essous, Pandi and Lando Rossignol from Esengo editions. On August 15, 1959, a year before the independence of Congo, Célio participated in the creation of the Bantous orchestra, Chez Faignond, in Brazzaville.

In 1972, following the implosion of the Bantus, he created, with Pamelo and Kosmos, the Cépakos Trio and then the Le Peuple orchestra. The defections of Pamelo in 1978 and Kosmos in 1984 put an end to this wonderful musical experience. His return, in 1987, to the Bantu of the capital, was inconclusive. He slams the door again. In 1990, he created "Bantous monument" in the company of Ganga Edo and Passi Mermans: the experience will last long. Then, tried to revive the orchestra The People in 2000 but without success.

In 2004, Célestin Kouka was again in the Bantu of the capital. Historical return because it will be followed by two tours of the latter in Europe, including a visit to the legendary Olympia in Paris. Célestin was another in the tragic vintage of the deaths of artists in 2016, alongside David Bowie, Jim Harrison, Prince and George Michael at the international level. In Congo, Célio passed on Saturday, August 20, 2016, at 1 a.m., at the Brazzaville CHU. With that, a star died out, leaving the memory of a composer of great talent. In our ears whisper the multitude of his legendary compositions such as "Mawa ya Hotelet", "Georgina wa bolingo" (OK Jazz), "Bantu Committee", "Rosalie Diop" (Bantu), "Kouka ba dia ntseke", "Caprices "," The hour of truth "(Trio Cépakos), to name but a few.

Many noted musicians from Kinshasa were present in Brazzaville for the funeral, including Simaro Lutumba and Verckys Kiamuangana Mateta, the latter remarking: “For having appreciated him so much during his incredible journey, we will not forget him!

Marie Alfred Ngoma
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