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Manu Chao

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Manu Chao, one-time leader of the French rock band Mano Negra, has had his back turned to the French music scene for the last 4 years. Instead, he's been working with artists from Latin America, including the likes of Skank in Brazil, Todos Tus Muertos in Argentina and Tijuanano in Mexico, and from Spain, such as Negu Goriak and Amparanoļa. He is now preparing his return to the French scene with a multitude of projects on the boil. They all have a distinctly Latin flavour, evoking travel and testifying to a militant commitment to expressions of popular music such as the Repentistas du Nordeste from Brazil.

Manu Chao has been living in Spain for the last 3 years where Iberian artistic and media circles have opened their arms to him. The Galicia region has entrusted him with the artistic direction of celebrations for the year 2000. Artists from all around the world will join up with local artists to create a collaborative show: La Feria de las Mentiras (The Festival of Lies). "The year 2000 is nearly here, 2000 years have almost passed...5 billion human beings and 5 billion solutions. Celebration of the new millennium only directly concerns one billion of these people ; for the others, it's all one big lie."

At the same time Manu Chao has been working on the "Circo Da Madrugada" project with Pierrot Bidon of Archaos. This is living circus project starring children from Brazilian shanty towns. It has been underway for a year now, with local businesses lending their support to get it off the ground quickly.

For the World Cup, Manu Chao and the "La Caravane des Quartiers" association are reviving the project they ran with Mano Negra in Montreuil 4 years ago: rebroadcasting football matches and concerts in a big marquee. Before that "La Caravane" is spending 3 days in the Barcelona suburbs (7 to 8 May 1998).

And finally, as the fruit of his years of wanderings and musical encounters, Manu Chao is releasing a new album on 17 April: "Clandestino" is as much manifesto as it is a musical offering. The CD includes 16 tracks, one in English, one in Brazilian, two in French and twelve in Spanish.

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