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About




With a voice that simultaneously showcases warmth, appreciation, struggle and resilience, Kaissa is an aural artisan whose music paints a lush, vivid picture of the ever-changing world around her.

Born in Cameroon, Kaissa immigrated with her family to France at the age of 13 and now resides in New York City. The remnants of her transcultural shifts are still present in her music, which fluidly interweaves contemporary issues with traditional and modern influences.
Whether singing about the beauty of the trees, or the harsh realities of war, Kaïssa’s lyrics are made even more powerful in their simplicity. Definitely optimistic, her new songs call for attention to the plight of many places in the world, ravaged by the evils of man, but always helpful that the change for the better is just around the corner.
When going down the list of traits that truly make an artist great, one attribute that stands out is honesty. Honesty in lyrics, honesty in performance, and honesty in presentation. Music connects with the soul when it is without pretense, the heart knows when it is hearing a lie. Kaissa’s music is an example of just how beautiful the truth can be.



New York City

Home away from home, Kaïssa's weekly performances at Zinc Bar, Greenwich Village
·
1996-2008

New York City

Paul Simon's Under African Skies retrospective at the Brooklyn Academy of Music
·
2008

Würzburg·Germany

Appearing with her band at the Africa Festival
·
2004

  • 1991/1992: French and European tour with CharlElie Couture, followed by recording of SOUVENIRS LIVE (EMI)
  • 1991: Weekly TV shows (France Channel 3) SALUT MANU hosted by Manu Dibango
  • 1992-1993: Salif Keita World Tour and recording of L'ENFANT LION (Island)
  • 1992-1994: Member of Manu Dibango's SOUL MAKOSSA GANG
  • 1993: Recorded backing and lead voices on Manu Dibango's album WAKAFRIKA (Warner)
  • 1993-1994: Manu Dibango World Tour
  • 1994: Recording of CHRONIQUES DE L'AFRIQUE SAUVAGE Original Soundtrack (TV-France 3), featuring the song MALAIKA, and Cesaria Evora's album CABO VERDE
  • 1995: Performances with Jean Michel Jarre: Eiffel Tower-French Revolution Anniversary; 50th Anniversary of UNESCO-concert and live TV broadcasts
    • Solo feature in TV (Canal France International) program AFRICAN ARTISTS SUPPORTING AIDS RESEARCH, among Wasis Diop, Ray Lema, Lokua Kanza, Papa Wemba, and others
    • Paris recording sessions for Walt Disney cartoons
    • Recording of LE PROPRE DE L'HOMME Original Soundtrack (TV-France 2) and its feature song CHLOE
  • 1996: Kaïssa's Quintet performances at the Latitudes Jazz Club, Paris
    • Papa Wemba European and African Tour
    • Salif Keita Brazilian Tour
    • Appearances with Salif Keita and Papa Wemba at the WOMAD Festival in England
  • 1998: Writing lyrics and recording the song COME on Martha Wash’ album THE COLLECTION (BMG), NYC Town Hall performance with Martha Wash
    • Recording of Andre Manga album MOTHER RHYTHM (Narada)
    • Performances with Salif Keita at AFRICA FÊTE/Central Park Summer Stage and at the Nelson Mandela Birthday Concerts, Durban/Johannesburg, South Africa
    • Performance at Bonnie Young/Donna Karan Event benefiting Trade For Aid Organization
  • 1999: Performance with Diana Ross on Oprah Winfrey TV Show


    New York City

    Concert at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
    ·
    2005

    Santa Fe·NM

    The band for the Putumayo promotional tour of New Mexico
    ·
    2007

    New York City

    Earth Day concert at the Grand Central Terminal
    ·
    2003



  • 2000: Performances with her band in various New York venues, recording sessions
  • 2001: Kaïssa wins the best African Female Vocalist Award from US African Eye Magazine
  • 2001/2002: Recording of Kaïssa's first solo album
  • 2003: Appearances on Putumayo compilation GLOBAL SOUL and Jazzhole's CIRCLE OF THE SUN
  • 2004: Sony Music South Africa releasing LOOKING THERE, Kaïssa's first solo album
    • Appearances on Putumayo compilations WORLD REGGAE (Feb) and WOMEN OF AFRICA (April)
    • Appearance at the XVI Africa Festival in Würzburg, Germany
  • 2005: Performance at the inaugural Mosaic Festival in Singapore alongside Susheela Raman, Youssou N’Dour, Shirley Horne, and others
    • Performance at the Nuits d’Afrique Festival in Montreal, Canada
    • Various performances in New York City
  • 2006: Performance at the JAZZ KANTATA concert in Cracow, Poland alongside Dino Saluzzi, Lee Konitz and top Polish jazz instrumentalists and vocalists
    • Appearance at the New York SCHOMBURG CENTER’S 80th Anniversary Gala honoring legendary figures of art and culture, Chinua Achebe, Maya Angelou, Aimé Césaire and Harry Belafonte among others
    • Appearance at Kalalu World Music Festival in St. Lucia, West Indies
  • 2007: Kaïssa appears on Putumayo compilation WOMEN OF THE WORLD ACOUSTIC
    • Featured performance at the Volvo For Life Awards in NYC
    • Kaïssa co-hosting Top-10 Video Countdown on MTV Puerto Rico
    • Performances at International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
    • Concert in Lima, Peru
  • 2008: Appearing with Paul Simon at his UNDER AFRICAN SKIES series of shows at the Brooklyn Academy of Music
    • Kaïssa’s track LONON featured on Putumayo compilation AFRICAN DREAMLAND
    • Appearance at the FENAC festival in Cameroon
  • 2008/2009: David Byrne World Tour
  • 2011: Releasing new album I'm So Happy


Singapore

Putumayo's Mosaic Festival
·
2005

Lima·Peru

Closing moments of double-bill concert with Susana Baca
·
2007

New York City

Action Against Hunger Gala
·
2008