Staff Benda Bilili

November 30, 2009

Normally, this blog is devoted to putting music out there that isn’t necessarily as well known as it should be, that may have slipped off the music industry’s radar or was never on it in the first place, that is just plain odd, old, or out of the ordinary. However, despite the fact that today’s group are the media darlings of the world-music world (having won the 2009 Artist Award at Womex and have been very heavily featured in the music sections of every big newspaper and music mag out there), I’ve elected to post a tune of Staff Benda Bilili‘s because of the incredible energy and human warmth and generosity they exude on stage. These guys, made up of four paraplegics (victims of polio), a guy in crutches, a 19 year old virtuoso of his self-made satonge (a small one stringed instrument tensed between a can and a wooden bow), and an excellent rhythm section (featuring homemade percussion), put on a transcendental show in the outskirts of Paris last week. They are a force of nature, an incredible example of how much can be accomplished with very little, and deserve all the success they are currently receiving. I love the relaxed groove of this tune and the fact that you can hear the din of children’s noises in the background. Their music can be found through all the standard channels.

Marguerite – Staff Benda Bilili

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2 Responses to “Staff Benda Bilili”

  1. JFS Says:

    Great piece of music. This blog is truly exciting!


  2. […] before he could be “rediscovered” during the current world music (re)awakening (take Staff Benda Bilili as prime examples of this). Exposed to the popular music of the time, saba-saba, sinjonjo, vula […]


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