Introduction to Mi- Composé Guitar


In the world of Congolese music where lead guitarists almost always get the glory, Lokassa is the rare bird who played rhythm guitar to stardom. It didn’t hurt that he began his professional career in one of Africa’s great bands, Afrisa led by Tabu Ley. Starting in 1968, when the band was still called African Fiesta National, he did his time in obscurity accompanying a succession of prominent lead players that included Attel Mbumba, Mavatiku Visi, and Dino Vangu. Like Mwamba Dechaud, the formidable rhythm accompanist of African Jazz, Lokassa strung his guitar with two E strings—the second in place of the normal D string—a style called the mi-composé. For ten years he played on all Fiesta National/Afrisa’s hits and took the stage in Paris in 1970 for the band’s breakthrough performances at the famed Olympi


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