Konono No.1 bandleader Augustin Mawangu Mingiedi has died
Konono No.1's Augustin Mawangu Mingiedi has died at age 56. The Congolese group shared the sad news via Facebook, noting he had been ill for several months. Augustin had taken over as bandleader officially in 2015 when Mingiedi Mawangu, his father and group founder, died at age 85. (He hadn't toured with the group since 2009.) Augustin's son, Makonda, will now lead the group. Here's Konono No.1's statement:
Konono No.1's proud and brave leader Augustin Mawangu Mingiedi has passed away yesterday.
He'd been ill for several months. We are devastated.
But Konono N°1 are indestructible, and we've been continuing to work and perform. After Mingiedi and Augustin, the torch of lead likembe player has now been passed to the 3rd generation, to Augustin's son Makonda, who is fronting the band with original singer Menga Waku.
Vincent Kenis, who has produced all of the band's albums (most recently 2016's Konono Nº1 Meets Batida), shared his own statement about Augustin:
His brilliant and bold playing, his stage presence, his humor and high spirits graced many projects, among which Herbie Hancock’s multi-awarded Imagine, Björk’s Volta, a collaboration with Angolan artist Batida, and the "Congotronics vs Rockers" extravaganza, of which he was an essential element. It's a great honor for me to have worked with him.
Rest in peace, Augustin. Your music lives on.
Listen to Konono Nº1 Meets Batida and watch a video from it, below.