is one of the off-shoots of the legendary T.P. OK Jazz. After Franco's death in
October 1989, Lutumba Simaro Massiya
, alias "le poète" who was the deputy bandleader of TPOK Jazz
took over the leadership of that band. Several albums were recorded under his supervision.
An uncondoned solo project by Madilu
caused first problems however, and Madilu
chose to leave the band. Further, the family of Franco demanded a higher share in the financial revenues
of the band which was unacceptable for the remaining members, who then created another band,
. Prominent band members besides Simaro, were Rondot Kasongo wa Kasongo
, Josky Kiambukuta
and Ndombe Opetum
From 1993 onward, Bana OK recorded many albums and performed in various countries, trying to carry on the heritage
of the almighty TPOK Jazz.
Things have not always been easy for the band. Malage de Lugendo
and Dizzy Mandjeku
left to form
. In 1996, Ntesa Dalienst
died, and in 2002, guitarist Jerry Dialungana
In recent years, Simaro stayed in Kinshasa, where he has set up a Kinshasa based Bana OK wing, whereas Josky Kiambukuta
, Ndombe Opetun
, Elba Kuluma
stayed in Paris to sort out
financial problems with Solfège Music, the producer of their latest two albums.
Despite all problems, Bana OK showed a remarkable continuity, which is pretty rare in the current Congolese music scene.
The recent death of prominent members will probably change things. Joseph Kiambukuta Londa (Josky)
died on 7 March 2021 in
Clinique Ngaliema in Kinshasa, and Simaro Massiya Lutumba
died 30 March 2019 in Paris.