Kiazi Malonga joins us for a dynamic musical interlude with Rashid Okili Mpugani, showcasing several rhythms on the ngongui, melodic bells from Congo.
Kiazi is a second-generation Congolese American born into a family of artists. He was first introduced to the ngoma at the age of two by his father, Malonga Casquelourd, who was a world-renowned traditional artist from Congo Brazzaville. Casquelourd traveled to the US in 1972 and shortly after, began to build his empire in traditional arts in the US. It was in this setting that Kiazi was trained and learned about his Congolese cultural heritage.
Kiazi became the lead drummer of Fua Dia Congo at 16 and began teaching at that age as well. He has taught and performed in the US, Canada, Costa Rica, Europe and Africa. Kiazi currently teaches Congolese traditional music and dance in Oakland.