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Philip Nanton

Nickname of Ellsworth McGranahan Keane (1927–1997), internationally established jazz flugelhorn player born into a family of musicians in St Vincent. His nickname derived from his great love of Shakespeare and literature in general. He established a reputation locally as a trumpeter but it was after he emigrated to England in 1952 that he began to consider himself as a jazz musician. In the 1960s he became one of a select band of musicians who, because of the clarity and quality of his playing, was rarely out of work. He played with the Joe Harriott Quintet, the Michael Garrick Quintet, and later, in a move to Germany, with bands led by Kurt Edel Hagen, Francy Boland, and Kenny Clarke.

But poetry was equally his passion. L'Oubli, his first collection, was published in 1950 when he was 23 years old, followed by Ixion in 1952 ...

Article

Kahiudi C. Mabana

Congolese (Brazzaville) novelist, playwright, and poet, was born Marcel Sony on 4 June 1947 in Kimwanza in the Lower Congo (Democratic Republic of the Congo), the eldest of seven children. Sony’s parents originated from opposite banks of the Congo River. At a young age, he went to Congo-Brazzaville to pursue his primary studies. He admits to having had much trouble adapting to scholastic life, which was completely different than that of his native land. All his classmates already spoke French fluently while his linguistic level was still very weak: “I began my studies in the former Belgian Congo (Zaire) and there teaching had been in the native African language. When I left Kinshasa for Brazzaville, I suffered a shock” (Herzberger-Fofana, 1999). Few remarks are made on his secondary studies. Since 1971, Marcel Sony has taught French and English in Kindamba and Pointe-Noire.

La vie et demie Seuil 1979 ...

Article

Kate Tuttle

Born Marcel Sony, Tansi moved from his home in what was then the Belgian Congo to independent Congo (now Congo-Brazzaville) in 1959 to attend French schools. Starting in 1971 he worked as a schoolteacher in Brazzaville, and in 1979 he was appointed both to a position with the ministry of culture and to the directorship of the Rocado Zulu Theatre. That same year, Tansi published his first novel, La Vie et Demie (Life and a Half), as well as his first play, Conscience de Tracteur (Tractor Awareness). In the latter, Tansi used some of the conventions of science fiction to tell a political parable; the play won second place in a theatre competition sponsored by Radio France.

Tansi wrote three more novels in the 1980s—L’Etat Honteux (1981), L’Anté-Peuple (1983), and Les Yeux du Volcan (1988 and four plays becoming well known not only ...