Entertainment Music Jazz great Manu Dibango dies from virus, aged 86

Jazz great Manu Dibango dies from virus, aged 86

Cameroonian Manu Dibango, performing at the Pan-African Cultural Festival at Algiers in July 2009, has died. Photo: AAP
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Renowned jazz man Manu Dibango, to many the beloved “Papy Groove” who served as an inspiration and pioneer in his art, has died from the coronavirus, his official Facebook page has announced.

He was 86.

The saxophonist who inspired what is known as “world music” was recently taken to hospital with an illness “linked to COVID-19”, his official Facebook page said last Wednesday, adding he was “resting well and calmly recovering”.

The announcement did not say where he had been hospitalised but Dibango, who was born in Cameroon, was known to live in France.

“He can’t wait to meet you again,” the earlier message said.

That was not to be.

The artist inspired world music in the 1970s with the song Soul Makossa.

Funeral services were to be “held in strict privacy” followed by a tribute “when possible”, Tuesday’s announcement said.

Funerals in France have been limited to 20 people who are in the closest circle of the deceased because of a lockdown to try to slow the spread of COVID-19.