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Biography by Andy Morgan, July 2002:When Cuban 78s started arriving in the ports of West Africa in the 1920s and 30s, it was as if a long lost cousin was coming home wearing a sharp new suit, speaking a bizarre syrupy language and humming tunes that were somehow very strange and yet strangely familiar. The Congolese took their returning kinsman to their hearts and a Cuban music boom swept through the country like a Caribbean hurricane. However, a few adjustments were necessary. The piano, which dominated Cuban rumba, was ditched in favour of the guitar. Local African flavours and idioms were added to the pot and in the late 1950s Congolese rumba was born. This neat little circular story explains why two veteran musicians from either side of the Atlantic who share neither the same language nor the same background can understand each other perfectly. Congolese guitarist Papa Noel is a veteran of the 1960s and 1970s Congolese rumba scene and was a member of the legendary Francos backing band, TPOK Jazz, for fifteen years. Papi Oviedo is a doyen of the Havana music scene and arguably the greatest master of the tres, a Cuban mini-guitar with three sets of double strings, alive in the world today. The pair were brought together by Bath based Tumi Records to make an album called Bana Congo. When Papa Noel arrived in Havana for the recording sessions he had this uncanny feeling he was coming home. Papi Oviedo has lived in Cuba all his life and yet he insists that an important part of him has never left Africa. Now both in their 60s, Noel and Oviedo both champion the gentler sound of their respective golden ages, before Congolese rumba became Soukous and Cuban son became Salsa. It is no surprise that the pair get on like burning houses and the music they make together burns with a richly matured love for rumba, the guitar, Cuba, and Africa.Short biography 2002:Papa Noel is a guitar hero of every Central African superstar you can name and Papi Oviedo has brought his distinguished tres playing to many of Cubas legendary stars. Together, they make that Cuban, Congolese connection with a superb new album and a great live show.