We are thrilled to welcome a leading light of contemporary African music. Jupiter, and his band that he has performed with for over 20 years, Okwess International, are certain to amaze the Shambala crowd with their fresher-than-fresh take on Congolese music.
Jupiter and Okwess International are the unparalleled leaders amongst the not-so-quietly vibrant musicians of the Democratic Republic of Congo. ‘The Dance of Jupiter,’ a film documenting Jupiter’s musical exploration was released in 2007 and he quickly found himself raised to international recognition. On screen, we see his slender silhoutte exploring the various districts of Kinshasa, discovering artists unknown to the rest of the world.
“Today, we find many young groups continuing in my footsteps, dipping into our archives for inspiration; my mission is complete. If I disappeared today, I’ll have achieved my goal’’ Jupiter Bonkodji
Of course, Jupiter wasn’t about to disappear; and he is poised for a fantastic career. In October 2011, he played Kinshasa to an audience of five thousand; in July of the same year, he was part of the album created by Damon Albarn, ‘Kinshasa One Two”.
Now he’s back with “Troposphere 13”, three years after the release of the exuberant “Hotel Univers”. Powered by Okwess International’s dazzling guitar licks and controlled crescendos, with a little help from Damon Albarn and Warren Ellis (of Nick Cave fame), Jupiter explores the immense wealth of traditional Congolese rhythms through which he filters the electrifying stridency of the rock inherited from his country’s European influences.