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Passings: Vincent Nguini, Guitarist For Paul Simon

by VVN Music

Vincent Nguini, guitarist for Paul Simon since 1991, died on December 8 in Abadiânia, Brazil at the age of 65.  He had been suffering from liver cancer.

Born in Cameroon, he learned a variety of guitar styles while traveling around Africa in the mid-70's. In 1978, he moved to Paris, eventually becoming the musical director for Manu Dibango.

In 1987, Nguini moved to New York where he was introduced to Paul Simon by Hugh Masekela. He continued with Simon until he became ill, playing on the albums Rhythm of the Saints, The Capeman, You're the One and Surprise. He also played on eleven Simon tours.

Simon said of the guitarist, “Vincent Nguini was the most creative musician I’ve ever worked with", elaborating for the New York Times that he was "an extraordinarily melodic rhythm guitarist. By that I mean his rhythm parts were usually repetitive lines — very West African — rather than strumming chords. His style was unique and can’t be fully understood except by the most sophisticated players."