Artist Catalog

Pierre Akendengué

Pierre-Claver Akendengué (born April 25, 1943) is a musician and composer of Gabon. In 1997, he received his country's "Prix d'excellence" at the Africa Music awards in Libreville, honoring his body of work. He also serves as a cultural advisor for the government of Gabon.

Born on the island of Awuta, which is located just off the coast from Port-Gentil, Akendengué went to school in Port-Gentil, then studied psychology at the University of Caen in France during the 1960s. While in France, he met singer Mireille, who encouraged his musical interests.

In 1974, Akendengué recorded his first album, Nandipo, which consisted of songs of his own composition, sung in French and Nkomi, accompanied by guitar, women choir, bass and the percussion of Nana Vasconcelos. He later set to music poems by P. E. Mondjegou, such as "Le Chant du Coupeur d'Okoumé" ("The Song of the Okoumé Cutter"). Returning to Gabon, he studied solfeggio and plainchant at a Catholic college, and presented spectacles showcasing traditional Gabonese forms in a concert setting.

In 1986, he received a doctorate from the University of Paris for his study of religion and education among the Nkomi.