Three Kilos Of Coffee: An Autobiography by Manu DibangoThree Kilos Of Coffee: An Autobiography by Manu Dibango

Three Kilos Of Coffee: An Autobiography

byManu Dibango

Paperback | October 3, 1994

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In 1948, at the age of fifteen, Manu Dibango left Africa for France, bearing three kilos of coffee for his adopted family and little else. This book chronicles Manu Dibango's remarkable rise from his birth in Douala, Cameroon, to his worldwide success—with Soul Makossa in 1972—as the first African musician ever to record a top 40s hit.

Composer, producer, performer, film score writer and humanitarian for the poor, Manu Dibango defines the "African sound" of modern world music. He has worked with and influenced such artists as Art Blakey, Don Cherry, Herbie Hancock, Harry Belafonte, Paul Simon, and Johnny Clegg. In Africa, he has helped younger musicians, performed benefit concerts, and transcribed for the first time the scores and lyrics of African musicians.

The product of a "mixed marriage" (of different tribes and religions) who owes allegiances to both Africa and Europe, Dibango has always been aware of the ambiguities of his identity. This awareness has informed all of the important events of his life, from his marriage to a white Frenchwoman in 1957, to his creation of an "Afro-music" which joyfully blends blues, jazz, reggae, traditional European and African serenades, highlife, Caribbean and Arabic music. This music addresses the meaning of "Africanness" and what it means to be a Black artist and citizen of the world.

This lively and thoughtful memoir is based on an extensive set of interviews in 1989 with French journalist Danielle Rouard. Richly illustrated with photographs, this book will be a must for readers of jazz biographies, students of African music and ethnomusicology, and all those who are lovers of Manu Dibango's unique artistry and accomplishments.
Title:Three Kilos Of Coffee: An AutobiographyFormat:PaperbackDimensions:158 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.5 inPublished:October 3, 1994Publisher:University of Chicago Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226144909

ISBN - 13:9780226144900

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Danielle Rouard
Nimele Bolo
Really the Blues
"Indépendance Cha-Cha"
African Jazz
The Tam-Tam of Léopoldville
Neighborhood Business
Soul Party
I'd Like to Be a Black Man
"Soul Makossa"
Agouti and Foutou: Of Field Rats and Fufu
"Douala Sérénade"
"Tam-Tam pour L'Ethiopie"
Black Resonance
"Sonacotra Blues"
Honors and Distinctions

From Our Editors

The French publisher had given me carte blanche; with some ignorance, I chose to write Manu Dibango's biography in the first person. Much later, when the book can out Manu commented, 'When we worked on that book, it was like Danielle raped me.' Over months of collaboration, 'I' became a reflected image, a hybrid creature. A plump little whit journalist relived the life of a great saxophonist and composer in the avant garde of world music, who she'd never met before. She saw with the eyes of an African, heard with his long ears, laughed and suffered with his heart of a black man.