Sad news for the whole African music community today as we hear about the death of legendary Guinean guitarist Kanté Manfila. One of the founding members of the band Les Ambassadeurs Internationaux, Manfila came to fame in the early 70's playing with the great Salif Keita. The band became one of the best known bands to come out of Mali, propelled by such classic hits as "Mandjou", "Seydou Bathily", "Ntoma", and "Primpin." Check out a video of Mandjou here.
Truly one of the greatest African guitarists of the last century, Manfila was one of the first guitarists to play balafon parts on the guitar in the 1960's, taking its melodies and interlocked rhythms into the electric realm, and onto the world stage. His importance is felt in the number of guitarists and other artists who mention him throughout our interviews.
Search through the Afropop.org archives for more about Kante.