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The classification africa encompasses a diverse range of African musical styles. Afrobeat was pioneered by the Nigerian musician Fela Kuti (1938-1997) in the early 1960s by blending the Afro-soul style of Sierra Leonean soul singer Geraldo Pino (1939-2008) with elements of Ghanaian highlife, jazz and traditional Nigerian music. Fela's drummer, Tony Allen, is credited with making an influential contribution to the afrobeat sound. Fela deployed afrobeat as a medium for challenging political, social and economic criticism; falling foul of the Nigerian authorities in the process. His first son Femi Kuti, who led his father's band during Fela's bouts in jail, launched his own career perpetuating the afrobeat sound. In addition to Femi and his band Positive Force, other afrobeat acts include Seun Kuti (another of Fela's sons), Dele Sosimi's Gbedu Resurrection (led by Fela's former keyboardist and musical director), New York-based group, Kokolo and San Francisco-based group Aphrodesia.
Congolese refers to various musical styles from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC, formerly Zaire and sometimes referred to as Congo-Kinshasa) and the Republic of the Congo (or Congo-Brazzaville) in Central Africa, where the popularity of Afro-Cuban "rumba" before and after the Second World War has influenced musical development. The Western "world music" industry generally pigeonholes Congolese popular music as rumba, rock-rumba or soukous. Key names in the history of Congolese music include Joseph "Le Grand Kallé" Kabasele (1930-1983, leader of African Jazz from '53 to '63 and the African Team; he worked with Cuban flutist Gonzalo Fernández and Cameroonian saxophonist Manu Dibango), Franco (1938-1989, founder of OK Jazz in 1956), Dr. Nico (1939-1985), Tabu Ley Rochereau (co-leader of African Fiesta with Dr. Nico from '63 to '65 and founder of Afrisa), Les Bantous de la Capitale (inaugurated in 1959; membership included guitarist Papa Noel), Zaiko Langa Langa (formed in 1970), Papa Wemba and Kanda Bongo Man. Senegalese describes the array of popular music from Senegal in West Africa, where Cuban dance rhythms exerted an influence from before World War II. Major names in the history of Senegalese music include Ibra Kassé's Star Band de Dakar (founded in 1960 to celebrate Senegal's independence), Orchestra Baobab (organised in 1970), Étoile de Dakar (launched in '77; members included future world star Youssou N'Dour), Super Diamono (formed in '74), Ismael Lô (ex-Super Diamono) and Baaba Maal. Senegalese and Senegambian artists have played a significant part in the salsa africana movement, such as former Star Band frontline singers Laba Sosseh (1943-2007) and Pape Seck (1946-1995), Médoune Diallo (ex-Baobab) and Nicholas Menheim, all of whom recorded with Africando organised by producer Ibrahima Sylla from Côte d'Ivoire and Malian arranger Boncana Maïga. - John Child