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16 novembre 2007

Senegalese Pop Star Youssou N’Dour Debuts at the Kimmel Center Performing Afro-Pop in Philadelphia November 20

"Youssou N’Dour is now one of the best loved voices in the world." —Peter Gabriel

"The finest example yet of the meeting of African and Western music: wholesome, urgent and thoughtful" —The London Guardian

Senegalese pop star Youssou N’Dour and the Super Étoile de Dakar elevate Afro-Cuban world rhythms to a new level at the Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall on Tuesday, November 20, 2007. Hailed as "the West African Sinatra" by New York Newsday and one of the 100 Most Influential People in Time Magazine (2007), Youssou N’Dour has crossed mbalax—Senegal’s indigenous percussion, griot singing, and Afro-Cuban arrangements—with other musical cultures throughout the world. A cultural ambassador of West Africa, Youssou N’Dour illustrates a fusion between world and pop music at its best. His collaborations include Peter Gabriel, Sting and Wyclef Jean (Joko release, 2000), among other contemporary rock musicians; his band has toured throughout Africa, Europe and the Far East for over twenty years, recently reaching notoriety in North America. His latest 2007 release of Rokku Mi Rokka (Give and Take) shows Youssou N’Dour staying true to his roots, as it reveals the evolutionary indiosyncratic edginess of Senegalese pop music.

This concert is the sixth concert in the World & Pop Series scheduled for the Kimmel Center Presents 2007/2008 season. The next concert in the series will be the Mazowsze performance at the Kimmel Center on Saturday, November 24, 2007 at 3pm. (...)

"...The one African moving inexorably toward the world-pop fusion everyone else theorizes about..." (Robert Christgau, The Village Voice)

Youssou N’Dour has successfully conveyed the intercontinental appeal of mbalax, capturing the attention and affection of a diverse, multi-ethnic, genuinely international audience beyond Senegal. One commentator has said N’Dour’s music "encourages you to think globally while dancing locally." A blend of indigenous Senegalese dance rhythms, traditional griot percussion and praise-singing with Afro-Cuban flavors, mbalax has flourished in West Africa since the 1950’s and 1960’s. Modernized in the mid-1970’s mbalax began to evolve into more complex indigenous Senegalese dance rhythms, melodic guitar and saxophone solos, talking-drum soliloquies and Sufi-inspired Muslim religious chant.

N’Dour began his career as a teenager playing gigs in the parking lots of clubs in Dakar, Senegal’s cosmopolitan city. His distinct voice earned him live amateur-hour slots on national radio. Early in his career, N’Dour delivered performances that made mbalax famous, filtering in pop and rock influences, while staying true to its storytelling roots. Critically acclaimed albums include Set (1990), Eyes Open, (1992) and The Guide (1994). The 1990 album, Set, was one of the top world music albums of all time on Billboard; His lyrical music that year also greatly influenced young Senegalese people to create an urban ecological movement known as "Set-Setaal" (Be Clean), that involved the cleaning, painting and refurbishing of ghetto neighborhood homes and improvement of water-supply and sanitary conditions—all without governmental assistance.

"If any Third World performer has a real shot at the sort of universal popularity last enjoyed by Bob Marley, it’s Youssou, a singer with a voice so extraordinary that the history of Africa seems locked inside it." —Rolling Stone magazine



Tuesday, November 20, 2007 | 8pm
Verizon Hall
World & Pop Series

Youssou N’Dour
and the Super Étoile de Dakar


Tuesday, November 20, 2007 | 6:30pm and Post-show
Commonwealth Plaza
ACANA Showcase
Arrive early for the Youssou N'Dour concert for a showcase of the best African musicians in the region, featuring Princess Fatu Gayflor. And stay late for a post-show dance party! Presented in conjunction with the African Cultural Alliance of North America.

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