Tribute shows for guitarist Rocky Bila

Rocky Bila

Congolese rhumba guitarist the late Rocky Bila.

Photo credit: Courtesy

What you need to know:

  • Tribute shows, which will also double up as charity events, will be hosted by Summit Grill in Mombasa.
  • Rocky Bila joined Amitie Musica band in Mombasa after he relocated to the coastal city from Nairobi.

Several tribute shows have been lined up in Nairobi and Mombasa in honour of veteran Congolese rhumba guitarist Rocky Bila who died in Mombasa last week.

Since his demise, the artiste’s former counterparts, fans and colleagues have been involved in burial arrangements set for March 30 in Mombasa.

Prior to being taken ill, Bila was a solo guitarist with Mombasa-based Amitie Musica band under the leadership of Crispin Tambwe.

Speaking to Saturday Nation earlier this week, Tambwe said they would on Saturday night and Sunday stage tribute shows at Summit Grill VOK in Mombasa. The shows will also double up as charity events.

“Being the last group he performed with, we have chosen to give him a befitting sending send off by staging tribute shows alongside other musicians,” Tambwe said.

Bila joined Amitie Musica band in Mombasa after he relocated to the coastal city from Nairobi, his longtime base. He had kept off stage for several months due to ill health.

Similarly, speaking to Saturday Nation, Bilenge Musica International band leader, Lesasa Jocker, said a major harambee show will be staged next Tuesday at Vibro Club in Nairobi West.

The show, according to Lesasa, will feature several leading Nairobi-based bands. Some of the bands expected to perform include TBM Band, Rhumba Japan, Bilenge Musica Du Congo (led by Darzee Kalend), Bana Mazembe, Fusion Musica. Nick Kosovo, Bilenge Musica International, Vibration Musica, Ark Band, Kidum Kibido, Afro Ngoma Band (led by Ben Hinga) and Rhumba Afrique.

Lesasa recalled that he is the one who first recruited Bila in the original Bilenge Musica band in Nairobi back in 1995. The group was then based at the Legacy Africa Club in Parklands. Others in the band back then were Bobo Sukari, Darze Kalend and drummer Bebe King.

Bila was part of Bilenge Musica which toured Ethiopia and Uganda in 1999. He also toured Dubai which later become a permanent base for Lesasa and his Bilenge band.

When members of the popular Wenge Musica band, led by JB Mpiana, toured Kenya in the late 1990s it was Bila who was invited to perform as the guest solo guitarist. This was in the absence of the main solo guitarist in the band.

His fans can contribute for his funeral arrangements through M-Pesa till 4065055 and 0721604623 (Crispin Tambwe).


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