Youssou N’Dour

*Terminal 5* ~ Showtime: 9:00pm

Show sample imageWith Rokku Mi Rokka (Give And Take), Senegal’s king of mbalax continues the journey deep inside the traditions of his country that began with the release of Nothing’s In Vain and the Grammy-winning Egypt, the two albums now considered his most remarkable achievements to date. More than 25 years into a career that scaled heights once unimaginable for African music, he is still setting the pace for all artists in West Africa.

“What keeps me passionate about music is the freedom I have,” he says. “The freedom to use different sounds and find different vibes. I started my professional life interpreting Cuban music, then I sang mbalax and pop, and I think that if I had stayed in one style I would have got a little tired. But, you know, I also have a reputation for bringing something new to the world outside Africa.”

Born in 1959, Youssou first achieved fame as a twelve-year-old who sang at religious ceremonies; by sixteen he was a de facto star, singing with one of the most popular bands of the 1970s, Etoile De Dakar. In the 1980s, as leader of the Super Etoile, he developed a new African form of music known as mbalax. “The problem for some people is that mbalax is a complex music. If you don’t know our language, Wolof, or our culture, you will get confused, you won’t understand the references. So I had to take a decision to make it easy for people to understand me. I want to communicate with everybody.”

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June 24, 2011
Terminal 5
610 West 56th Street, New York, NY, 10019