Docteur Nico (nicolas Kasanda)

Nicolas Kasanda (1939-1985) was one the most influential African guitarists. As members of Joseph Kabasele’s African Jazz (1952-1963), Kasanda and Dechaud pioneered a new type of guitar called mi–solo, which interpolated a second guitar between rhythm and lead. The mi-solo could increase or decrease the lead, and can also augment the rhythm to create a more complex sound. This style was quickly adopted across the continent. As Nico broke away from African Jazz, a variety of bands covered his sound, including those in Angola and Mali. He also formed African Fiesta with Tabu Ley Rochereau as vocalists. Many of the mid-sixties recordings have a Cuban vibe, but Nico’s exhilarating solos transcend musical genres. For his ballads, he also used a Hawaiian guitar with echo to create a haunting sound. Nico tried many new combinations after Rochereau’s split during the height of African Fiesta. He launched a six-month tour of West Africa in 1969. He created the Kono, a new dance in Sierra Leone that took the continent by storm. His band was the testing ground for many new talents, including Josky

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