ZONG ZING – Congolese Dance Band

“Bringing the London African Underground to the mainstream!”

Some festivals and venues played Larmer Tree Festival Secret Garden Party Lewisham People’s Day Love Box T.U.C. Conference Proud Galleries for Rainforest Foundation supporting Sting Bracknell Big Day Out Cecil Sharp House Stoke Fest Camden Green Fair Portsmouth Multicultural Festival World City Music Village Festival Shoreditch Festival Ealing Jazz and Blues Festival CARE International 25th Anniversary Chingford Festival City of London Festival The Scala Kings Cross The Silk Road Festival Cricklewood Africa oye SOAS Richmond on the edge Festival Richmix Barbican Carnival of love Soas London green fair festival Festival Asylum Global local

And a host of club nights at venues that include: Cut A Shine at The Finsbury Town Hall, Passing Clouds, Wormfood, The Hootnanny, The Double Club, The Others, The New Empowering Church, Rythms of the earth,The Tabernacle for Womatt….

Biography The band formed at The Magpie’s Nest Club (BBC Best Folk Club of the Year 2008) in 2008, as an acappella group. Later on they evolved into a full band.

The music: Zong Zing is an 8 or 9 piece band playing uplifting dance music called 'Cavacha'. 'Cavacha' is the core rhythm of Central African music that has given rise to ‘Soukous’ in the Democratic Republic of Congo, ‘Makossa’ in Cameroon and ‘Coupe Decale’ in the Ivory Coast. The band comes with a male dancer who is also an acrobat, but can add a female dancer to their basic line up, especially for festival appearances.

Cavacha is a highly danceable music characterised by intricate guitar picking from three guitarists, soaring vocal harmonies, and driving percussion. The music reaches a crescendo during the “Seben”, with the intricate guitar picking; irresistible rhythms and sublime vocal harmonies combine to create a barely suppressed euphoria:” it is unarguably one of the most infectiously danceable forms of music in the world!”.

The cavacha soon turns into soukous, but Zong Zing also play other Congolese root beats, like Mutuashi, which is the raw root of reggae, and was brought to Jamaica by African slaves. Although Zong Zing have created a modern musical form, their music is still steeped in folkloric heritage.

Zong Zing’s leader is the master guitarist Fiston Lusambo. He and the other core members – who are all highly skilled musicians - have, in the past, played with such illustrious groups as Samba Mapangala’s ORCHESTRA VIRUNGA, Franco Makiadi’s OK JAZZ, Defao’s BIG MUSICA, remmy Ongala’s super matmila and Papa Wemba’s RUMBA RAY DE MARAY.

Several of Zong Zing’s members were in Baboma, a band which was not only very successful but also well known in the early to mid 90s in the UK. Baboma was also the creation of lead guitarist and studio producer Fiston.

Various members of the band compose some of the music but most of Zong Zing’s songs are arranged by Fiston Lusambo.

The band has gone from strength to strength, playing and rocking packed audiences in and around London and at some of the UK's top mainstream music festivals.


  • Fiston Lusambo: Band leader – Lead and rhythm guitars
  • Papy Luyeye: Lead and rhythm guitars
  • Jay Payne: Bass guitar
  • Saidi Kanda: Congas
  • Padou Machine: Kit Drums
  • Gianni Manzola: Vocals
  • Mick Jo Lusala: Vocals
  • Nzaya Nzayadio: Vocals
  • Antoine Luta: Dancer

Contact:Fiston Lusambo Email: fistonlusambo@aol.com Tel: 00447920115452