b. Kiamuangana Mateta, 1944, Kinshasa, Zaire. Saxophonist and businessman Verckys began playing music professionally in 1965, when he joined Franco’s group, OK Jazz. He left to form his own band, Orchèstre Vévé, in 1969. During the 70s this group became one of Zaire’s most successful recording and live acts, but by mid-decade Verckys himself was onstage more in name than in person, preferring to spend most of his time building up a network of clubs, recording studios and labels. By 1980 Verckys was threatening Franco and Rochereau for control of the Zairean music business, and produced and released albums by a myriad of stars including Empire Bakuba, Victoria Eleison and Langa Langa Stars. By the mid-80s his own empire was as large and influential as Franco’s and Rochereau’s, with his EVVI label being one of the most successful in central Africa.