Le Grand Kallé and African jazz—“Indépendance Cha Cha” (1960)

Zagorski-Thomas, Simon ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4632-0320 (2022) Le Grand Kallé and African jazz—“Indépendance Cha Cha” (1960). In: One-Track Mind: Capitalism, Technology, and the Art of the Pop Song. Taylor and Francis, Routledge, London, UK, pp. 11-26. ISBN 9781003093206

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In January 1960, during the negotiations to secure the independence from Belgium of what would become the Democratic Republic of Congo, a group of musicians who had accompanied the Congolese diplomatic team wrote and recorded a single called “Indépendance Cha Cha” which became a pan-African hit in a year in which 16 other former African colonies also gained their independence. This essay explores the extraordinary musical journey that began with the trans-Atlantic slave trade from the sixteenth century through to the nineteenth century and included the forced migration to Cuba of various West-African populations. After merging with various aspects of Spanish musical culture, the 1930s saw the export of Cuban son recordings by the Gramophone Company back to West Africa where they became popular in the Congo. The Gramophone Company erroneously labeled these records as “rhumba,” and Congolese musicians developed the style that became known as Congolese rhumba (or rumba) by adding guitar parts that drew on traditional thumb piano and lute patterns to the African-derived Cuban rhythms. Through the telling of this remarkable circular journey across the centuries, this essay will explore the musical sounds, the various technologies that made them possible, and the human and political journey that led from slavery to independence.

Item Type: Book Section
Identifier: 10.4324/9781003093206
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge/CRC Press in One-Track Mind: Capitalism, Technology, and the Art of the Pop Song on 30/08/2022, available online: https://www.routledge.com/9781003093206 or https://www.crcpress.com/9781003093206.
Subjects: Social sciences > Politics
Social sciences > Economics and economic history
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Simon Zagorski-Thomas
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2022 11:35
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2024 02:45
URI: https://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/9671


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