JO TONGO was born and raised in DOUALA (CAMEROON),West AFRICA. His mother has a lot of sons and daughters but Jo is the elder brother. The father is a notary and also a good violin and upstraight bass player.JO was surrounded with music since his mother belly cause his grand grand father, the Reverand Alfred TONGO DIBOUNDOU use to play organ in the church he was preaching. At the age of 13 , JO TONGO was granted with an acoustic guitar by one of his uncles and starded studying how to play by himself. He found his way by using a guitar book since he was abble to read and write music. Matter of fact, JO learned elemantary music theory at the high school, and was always the best on this matter. At the age of 15, he joined the high school band as guitarist and two years after became the band leader. That happened in YAOUNDE, the capital. At the same time, JO set up his first band in DOUALA with his young friends, the ROCK’N CHACH, mixing up african, caribbean and american soul music and starded writing his own compositions, sounding different from the other bands. JO recorded these musics at the cameroonian radios both in DOUALA and YAOUNDE. There was no recording studio in CAMEROON those days. JO gained his elder misicians consideration and starded playing with them. Since he became without doubt the best guitar player of his country. To prevent him from winning the bands competition organised by the head of state of the moment, JO TONGO was sent to Paris by his father. The latter did not want his son to become a professional musician. In Paris, JO studied pharmacy for two years, but was obliged to stop cause of his father’s problems with the cameroonian government. At the same time, Jo was learning classic piano. He obtained the first degree of piano of Paris national superior academy of music. Then he changed for accountancy for two years. Jo worked three years as an accountant, then he decided to become a professional musician. JO TONGO starded playing with the best musicians in Paris, like Manu DIBANGO, Françis BEBEY, Joseph KABASSELE, Franklyn BOKAKA. He was involved in the main recording sessions in studio with african and european artists. In 1966, Gerard AKUESON gave JO opportunity to make his first record. JO played what we could call world-music today. From his second record, JO turned to a kind of Afro funk music, very original and exciting, mixing up african sound and american Rhytm and blues. Jo was given the battle name of JOJO L’EXPLOSIF ( JOJO THE EXPLOSIVE ) . In 1968, after he recorded his second record (GET IT THE WAY I LIKE & NON NON NON ), the young artist was invited to a concert in the "SALONS DES AMBASSADEURS " in the "CHAMPS ELYSEES " in Paris. The main african and Caribbean artists had to perform in front of all the ambassadors of Paris. Manu DIBANGO's band had to back all of them. But for some unknown reason, DIBANGO refused to back JOJO. After a lot of arguments, he accepted. But instead of singing two songs like everyone, Jo was allowed to sing only one song. After performing GET IT THE WAY I LIKE, the public made a standing ovation to JOJO and asked him to sing another song. The artist turned to the musicians and said: I'VE BEEN LOVING YOU. JO performance was simply wonderful. Gisèle BAKA, a caribbean singer and manager came to congratulate the young man.Then she invited JOJO to another concert she organised in "OLYMPIA" in Paris, two months later, in commemoration of Doctor Martin Luther KING Jr death. DIBANGO started the same problems again, saying that if JOJO is there, he would not come. A lot of artists decided not to be there if JOJO is absent. This time JO sang a single song. The public delighted and excited was waiting for another one.The young man just came back on stage for a reverence. A star was born. As a music director and conductor, JOJO made beautiful arrangements for other artists as UTA BELLA and Manu DIBANGO. Jo took lessons of classic orchestration and arrangements with VLADIMIR KODJOUKAROV, the conductor of the French National Classic Orchestra.( Orchestre National de Paris ). JO TONGO became the most popular african artist. He played for african heads of states like NYASSIBWE EYADEMA of TOGO, YAKUBU GOWON of NIGERIA, MOBUTU SESE SEKO of ZAIRE( Demecratic Republic of CONGO), AHMADOU AHIDJO of United Republic of CAMEROON, Prince ALBERT II of MONACO.The artists that brought JO to higher audiance are the american pianist and singer MEMPHIS SLIM, the King of BOOGIE WOOGIE and MIKE BRANT,a singer from ISRAEL who became a legend in France. In 1976, after performing in MIDEM ( Cannes ) JO TONGO created a new band he called TUMBALO. Patrick, Alex and Chris FRANCFORT ( now called THE GIBSON BROTHERS ) asked JO to become members of his new band. Vicky EDIMO who heard about this asked JO to join the group, what was done. TUMBALO recorded 10 songs for DECCA, but for some unknowned reasons, this record never came out in time so that the FRANCFORT brothers decide to follow their own way. They were right. JO TONGO has one of his music used in a french movie called " FEMME DE SA VIE" with the famous french actress Emmanuelle BEART. Later on, he was asked for another music for an american movie: NEVER EVER with a well-known french actress SANDRINE BONNAIRE. Nowadays JO TONGO added REGGAE MUSIC to his influences. He backed KY-MANI MARLEY ( one of the BOB MARLEY’s sons ) who came to Cannes Festival (of Cinema ) for the movie he produced, ONE LOVE, in 2004. With a help of Claudine DE JESUS COSTA, JO TONGO who also made cinema studies in Cannes created RISIN’SUN to promote afro music and movies. His last CD, JO TONGO ( JOJO L’EXPLOSIF) GREAT HITS and the video clips for this album are RISIN’ SUN productions with a help of AURORE PRODUCTION. More Videos
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