Cultural mixed on Kiz

The influence of Angolan kizomba is felt in most Portuguese-speaking African countries, but also Portugal (especially in Lisbon and surrounding suburbs such as Amadora or Almada), where communities of immigrants have established clubs centered on the genre in a renewed kizomba style. Kizomba is now also quite popular among white people that come to these clubs in growing numbers. The São Tomean kizomba music is very similar to the Angolan, Juka being the most notable among the Sãotomeans, and also one of the most notable performers in the genre.

In Angola most clubs are based in Luanda. Famous Angolan kizomba musicians include Neide Van-DúnemDon KikasC4 PedroCalo PascoalIrmãos Verdades and Anselmo Ralph, among many others, but Bonga is probably the best known Angolan artist, having helped popularize the style both in Angola and Portugal during the 1970s and 1980s.

Where is Kizomba came from?

In Angola in the 1950s, the Kimbundu expression kizombada referred to a party. After Angolan independence in 1975, zouk music from the French Antilles became popular in Luanda. It mixed with semba to form kizomba in the 1980s.

Angola’s SOS Band spurred this development. Former band member Eduardo Paim, regarded as one of the founders of the kizomba genre, moved to Portugal in the 1980s, taking the music with him.

Kizomba, in turn, gave rise to Angola’s most explicitly sensual or even sexual genre, tarraxinha. Tarraxinha is danced within both semba and kizomba on the music’s slow intermezzos, but has developed into a genre of its own.

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Marc Brewer & Jacki Rozzo @ Beat Dancesport Academy.