Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo de Cotonou

  • Some best-kept secrets are worth revealing, and the eternal youth of the legendary Orchestre Poly Rythmo de Cotonou is just one of those hidden treasures. The West African band offered 43 years of an exquisite groove, a homemade voodoo funk, “Made in Bénin”, that conquered Nigeria, Togo, Niger, Angola, and much of West Africa. Poly-Rhythmo are probably the oldest of the post-independence bands in west Africa still active – but only just. The group was founded in Benin by Mélomé in 1968 and became hugely popular in the 1970s. They performed a varied repertoire of Afrobeat, songs based on the vodoun (voodoo) rituals in Benin, Latin music and James Brown-influenced funk. Their success wasn’t limited to Benin – the group toured and enjoyed hit records in neighbouring Nigeria, Ghana and French West Africa, while they played alongside some of the continent’s greatest stars, including Miriam Makeba, Angelique Kidjo and Fela Kuti.
  • Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo de Cotonou - Flyer front