I love this story:
Congo paraplegic band rocks around the world
From Neil Curry CNN
Cannes, France (CNN) — A group of disabled Congolese musicians could soon become a global sensation after an acclaimed documentary about the group was shown at the Cannes Film Festival.
The core members of Staff Benda Bilili are four musicians who suffered from polio as children. Three use wheelchairs, one is on crutches, and together they make heartfelt music that is winning fans far beyond their homeland.
With their soulful harmonies and hypnotic Congolese rumba beat, their music has been likened to Buena Vista Social Club. [Which I very much like.] And like the Cuban group, Staff Benda Bilili is crossing over into the international mainstream.
They are about to embark on a grueling tour that will see them perform at venues and festivals all over Europe this summer, before touring Japan.
But their new-found fame is a far cry from years spent making a living on the streets of Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
It was in Kinshasa in 2004 that they met French filmmakers Florent de La Tullaye and Renaud Barret, who were in the city documenting its music scene.
The filmmakers fell in love with Staff Benda Bilili’s music and offered to pay for their recording sessions, before making a film about the group.
Barret told CNN, "The idea was to record an album, because they were like virtuosos [who were] completely ignored, and we had the feeling that they could die very easily, because everybody dies very easily in Kinshasa — which is not funny.
"We had to do the album first. We didn’t intend to do the movie, but we were filming them on a daily basis while doing the rehearsals, the ups and downs, and in 2006 we realized we had shot the inside story of complete outsiders trying to emerge in one of the most complicated and brutal cities in the world."
Read the rest there.