The two-guitar front line of Tabu Ley Rochereau (born 1940) and Dr. Nico Kassanda (1938-1985) elevated African Fiesta to the forefront of Congolese dance music during the 1960s. Although only together for two years, the group's influence is felt. Formed in 1963, African Fiesta represented the vision of Rochereau, who had spent the previous four years with premier Congolese band African Jazz. The tension between Rochereau and Nico led to a split in 1965, with Rochereau, renaming the band African Fiesta National and Nico forming African Fiesta Sukisa. Following the split, Rochereau and African Fiesta National continued to dominate the Congo's musical scene. By 1970 their records routinely sold in the millions. African Fiesta National served as a breeding ground for such future African music stars as vocalist Sam Mangwana, who performed with the group between 1968 and 1970.
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