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In the 1970s, Youssou Ndour was the idol of mbalax (a form of Senegalese popular music based on the tama and the sabar). He was already a star in 1979 when, with his group L'Étoile de Dakar, he launched the “ventilator'', a new dance that was all the rage in clubs at the time. “The Little Prince of Dakar” became the new international ambassador of west African music. Four decades later, Youssou Ndour, who has in the meantime become a media mogul, runs a recording studio and a night club in Dakar and was Minister for Culture and Tourism in Senegal until 2013, has found time in his schedule to pay us a new visit (he was here in 2014). With a cultural heritage blending Serer, Toucouleur and Wolof, this native of Medina (born in 1959) has been journeying at the heart of the tradition for a decade now (since the album “Rokku Mi Rokka”). A tradition that he has helped bring up to date via pop influences (“7 Seconds” with Neneh Cherry in 1994), reggae or Cuban music, as well as digital production. He describes his latest album (“Africa Rekk” - 2016) and his duos with Akon, Fally Ipupa or Spotless as “a journey between modern Africa and traditional Africa, including a range of African cultures.”

Line-up : Youssou NDour (v), Babacar Faye (perc), El hadj Faye (perc), Abdoulaye Lo (dms), Assane Thiam (talking drum), Birame Dieng (bkv), Moustapha baidy Faye (k), Ibrahima Cisse (k), Papa oumar Ngom (g), Alain Oyono (sax), Moussa Sonko (danseur), Moustapha Gaye (g), Pascale kameni kamga (bkv)

Photo : © Youri Lenquette

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