In memory of Esperant, Dindo Yogo, Petit Aziza, Jiva, Edino, Mwana Spraya, Pesho Wa Pesho, Niarcos Adrienne, Kula Mambo, Mere Omoi and the many others who have contributed to the legacy of Viva La Musica de Papa Wemba
Papa Wemba painting
Papa Wemba's influence on the Zairian/Congolese music scene since the mid-1970s is due, in no small way, to the consistently high standard of artistic talent recruited into the orchestra Viva La Musica since the orchestra's conception.
The following gallery pages includes photos, artists' biographies and backing line-up information from the many periods of the band's history. Given the size and turnover of an orchestra such as Viva La Musica, possessing more than twenty musicians at any one time, it has not been possible to include every artist who has worked with the band. Instead we have endeavoured to display at least one photo of each of the most prominent names from specific periods of the band's twenty-two year history.
Unfortunately, many of the photos included are of poor quality. Please bear in mind that most of the gallery shots were taken from original archive video recordings of the orchestra, none of which are first generation copies.
It is hoped that, eventually, some of the poorest quality photos will be replaced with better quality material as and when it becomes available. Respect to Gary Stewart author of 'Rumba on the River', whose fine book helped me to add further research to the biographies contained within the following pages.
Lastly, anyone wishing to contribute archive material to this gallery is encouraged to contact the author through the comments link box on this site's index page.