Jean Bashengezi, known since childhood as “Jaja,” was born and raised on the peaceful shores of Lake Kivu in Eastern Congo, in the town of Bukavu. Music was life in his household.

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1. Bembeleza Mwana 03:24
2. Ndule 03:42
3. Mbona 02:22
4. Kali 03:57
5. Mpaka Wewe 03:59
6. Life Is Precious 04:04
7. Fata Katibu 04:17
8. Amina 03:42
9. Na Sengi 02:51
10. Refugee 02:51
11. I Miss Home 03:50
12. Bayaka Pygmee 01:55
13. Maji 04:33
14. Bwachire 02:49
15. Shoulder to Shoulder 02:54
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About album

John “Jaja” Bashengezi’s music reflects his journey through life from the Congo to East Africa to America. He’s a guitarist and singer of natural grace who has mastered the sensuous guitar style and mellifluous Lingala vocals of classic Congolese music, but also expanded his music as he has traveled through life. Born in Bukavu in the war-torn eastern Congo, he became a refugee in the 1990s. Fleeing with his guitar, he found work as a studio musician in Kampala, Uganda, encountering the great Congolese singer Samba Mapangala and hooking into the local scene. (All these years later, Bashengezi performs in Mapangala’s U.S. band.) Bashengezi’s odyssey eventually landed him in the vicinity of Washington, DC, where he has made alliances with a number of other African musicians, but also developed the uniquely personal style showcased on this album.

Artist: Jaja Bashengezi