Jupiter & Okwess is the body moving amalgamation of Congolese funk and American R&B. Jupiter Bokondji has been (re) uniting American and European music with Congolese rhythms since he was a youth in East Berlin, where he started his first band while his father was a diplomat attached to the embassy. Upon returning home to (what was then) Zaire, Jupiter had the opportunity to return to Europe to study. Instead he ran away to the capital, Kinshasa, and started a band. Through civil war, economic collapse, and dictatorial governments, his trailblazing music has been the rare constant in the unstable country we now call The Democratic Republic of Congo. Since joining Okwess there in 90s Jupiter has made it his life’s work to learn all the rhythms of the Congo and bring the rich resources of his home to the world. The name “Okwess” is Kibunda for “food”. It’s one of six different dialects Jupiter & Okwess sing, promoting a spiritual nutrition of unity, and mutual respect. In 2006 a documentary finally drew world attention to culture bearing musicians like he and Staff Benda Bilili. In 2012 an Oxfam music program brought he and Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz) together. In 2013 Jupiter & Okwess played Glastonbury. Jupiter & Okwess latest album Kin Sonic –a non-stop double time fusion of Congolese rumba and electric funk– was released in the US last year. Damon Albarn contributed on keys, and Warren Ellis (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds) on violin.
Jupiter and Okwess will play what promises to be the wildest dance party the Treeline Stage has ever seen on Saturday night, and the Woods Stage Sunday Evening. Don’t miss ’em – buy your tickets today!