Jojo Kuo (often written Jojo Quo, Jojo Kouoh or Jojo Kuoh by some) is a Cameroonian artist. Recognized in Paris and New York as a master excellent drummer, prolific studio producer and computer music programmer. After rubbing shoulders with the big names in music, to name only a few Manu Dibango , Peter Gabriel , Egypt 80 . Fela Kuti , Richard Bona , Bela Fleck , Papa Wemba , Pierre Akendengue , Mory Kante , Antibalas , Jojo is based in New York and Atlanta.
Jojo Kuo was born on August 23, 1959 in Bonandjo (Douala) and he is the third in a family of eight children. Jojo is the father of a daughter Joseth Bisi Kuo (1985) and a son Joseph Kuo II (1995). His father Kuo Benjamin (1922-2007) was then an ophthalmologist at Laquintinie Hospital and his mother Emilienne seamstress.
Jojo certainly holds his musical legacy of his paternal uncles, excellent traditional percussionists; his father played the Sanza from time to time. After primary studies in Bonadoumbe and Bonapriso, Jojo pursued studies until CAP in drawing / building in Moungo CETI Ndoungue. Although particularly skilled in studies, Jojo braves his father and leaves the school and the family home at 15 years of age which gave him the opportunity for the first time to perform in public in a nightclub of Yaoundé the "Négresco" located at the time not far from the central post office of Yaoundé in the mid-1970s. This became the starting point of a great career that lead to a rich history of events.
Encouraged by his older brother Michel, who quickly realized the artistic potential of his younger brother, at the age of 17, Jojo and his friends all fled to Nigeria; an adventure in which their gifted guitarist and the youngest of the band named Foumi would die, following complications related to chronic sickle cell anemia.
Jojo, the most voluntary member of the group, is then responsible for going to meet the parents of the deceased in order to carry out the formalities of repatriation of the body and burial; hard test for the Young Jojo who negotiates the problem with a talent remarkably greeted by the parents of the deceased. The transfer conditions are so difficult that Foumi will be buried in Nigeria.
It is also during his Nigerian adventure that he will be noticed by Fela Kuti; whose, (Bassist) Patricia Kaas,Rita Mistsouko...); After a second Nigerian adventure with his acolyte Noël Assolo, and Jimmy Takoube, Assolo and Jojo Kuo went to France in 1981 to study music and exploit their talents. Each will then make his career on his side. Jojo stays in France where he plays with Pierre Akendengue, Manu Dibango, Papa Wemba, Mory Kante, to name only those names that no longer present, until 1994 before emigrating to the United States.
It should be added that the surprising Jojo is also probably the first African musician "as he likes to say" to use an electronic drum as a working tool and to use at the same time in the mid-1980s the computer for musical programming, having been taught by his older brother Michel then a mathematics student in Paris.
Joseph "JoJo" Kuo is a very prolific musician, arranger and producer, which is also much more well known in New York and abroad in general than in his country of origin Cameroon, because of his extraordinary talent as a drummer; and especially for introducing African music to the trendy places of New York; especially at Joe's Pub, Zinc Bar, Zebulon and not forgetting the famous St. Nick's Pub of St Nicholas Avenue Corner of 149th Street in Harlem, to name but a few of these places.
His genius, creativity and originality has contributed a lot to his musical achievements by working with internationally renowned artists such as Pierre Akendengue, Manu Dibango, Papa Wemba, Mory Kante, Peter Gabriel, Fela Kuti, Harry Belafonte , and recently with Richard Bona who gave him the opportunity to express himself on his album entitled The Ten Shades Of Blues) to quote only those.
His creative talents have largely and directly contributed to the success of many African artists who have occupied the top of the hit parade, including Mory Kante with the dazzling success of "Yéké Yéké", recorded in a more concise, fast, electric and dancing version for the album "Akwaba Beach" (1987), which took everyone by surprise. Sales have soared (millions of singles and albums to date), the rankings in the charts have multiplied all around the world. As such, when in July 1988 "Yéké Yéké" The Kissidougou griot has achieved the challenge of giving African music its rightful place. This is confirmed by the Victoires de la Musique 88 crowning "Akwaba Beach" Best French-language album "JoJo currently lives in New York, always so accessible and friendly JoJo Kuo & The Afro-Beat Collective regularly performs at Joe's Pub, Zinc Bar, Zebulon , Lions Den and other places in New York City.