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Ray Lema

Biography

This extraordinarily gifted musician first discovered his talent in a religious school in Kinshasa. After just a few piano lessons at age eleven, Lema could read and perform the most complex pieces. From that moment on, Lema's life changed. He played music everywhere: with rock bands, with soukous artists including Tabu Ley Rochereau and Franco and he was invited to create the first Zairean ballet at age 24. Lema found it difficult to work for the authoritarian regime and after a trip to the United States he decided not to return to (then) Zaire. Settling in Paris, Lema founded a label and began releasing record! s. His collaborations are legion and legendary: from Bulgarian singers to Moroccan gnawa musicians Tyour Gnaoua. He's most famous for his attempts to fuse what he calls the "horizontal" rhythms of Africa with Europe's "vertical" western harmonies.
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