Songs and stories from Congo
Join singer and musician Niwel Tsumbu to learn songs in Lingala, one of the many languages spoken in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Children may bring their own drum as Niwel’s songs and stories transport them to the Congo. Come prepared to imagine, sing and experience!
Meet the artist
Niwel Tsumbu is a virtuosic Congolese-born, Ireland-based guitarist. He has created a unique and exhilarating style drawing on influences as diverse as jazz, classical, rock, folk and rumba. At times Tsumbu’s music is a deep emotional well, drawing joy and sadness from universal human waters. At other times, it’s a high-tech vehicle flashing with excitement across nations, continents, and the cosmos. Having steadily developed his international profile over the past decade, Tsumbu has earned praise from All About Jazz for his ‘exquisite and almost seamless’ global fusion. He has recorded with artists like Nigel Kennedy and Steve Cooney and performed with Sinead O’Connor, Buena Vista Social Club and Baaba Maal. In 2021, Tsumbu’s global reach was cemented with his guitarwork on the Grammy Award-winning album They’re Calling Me Home by Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi.
The keystones of Tsumbu’s music are his sophisticated sense of rhythm, his virtuosic guitar playing and his thrilling improvisations. Whether playing rumba or jazz, plucked nylon or amplified electric, Tsumbu’s intricate guitar work always invites re-listening. Tsumbu is accordingly in high demand as an African guitar teacher for the World Music Method, and his popular Instagram reel videos garner up to hundreds of thousands of views.
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