Alioune’s interest in music showed at an early age. Starting in elementary school, he honed his vocal and music composition skills by performing at local schools and community ceremonies and events. In 1992, Alioune won the prestigious “Oscar des Vacances,” awarded annually to the best up-and-coming singer by Senegal’s national television network.
After completing high school in 1993, Alioune attended the Senegalese National School of the Arts for three years, where he studied composition and performance of African music, both traditional and contemporary.
In 1996, Alioune formed his first band, Tim Timol, with his friends from the School of the Arts. Tim Timol brought a new flavor to the yéla sound by fusing this traditional Fulani musical style with hip-hop, rap and reggae. The band brought together a unique group of artists, including two talented female rappers, a male MC, and Alioune as the vocalist. With Tim Timol, he toured West Africa and Europe, sponsored by the Belgian International Center for Youth.
In 2000, Alioune relocated to New York City, where he joined the renowned Maimouna Keita African Dance Company as a teacher and performer. Then, in early 2004, he returned to Senegal to release his first solo album, Macha Allah (As Allah Has Willed It). This solo project is a fusion of traditional and contemporary African music, with six songs appealing to both yéla and mbalax fans. The first single from that album, “Yaye Kene La,” dedicated to mothers worldwide, went number one on Senegalese radio and TV. In 2006, the second single, “Africa Unites,” calling for unity of the African peoples, also went number one.
Alioune is proud of his Fulani and Wolof heritage and continues to sing in his native languages of Wolof and Pulaar. Currently, Alioune is again based in the U.S. with a new band, Warref (meaning Do the Right Thing). His most recent album is “Alioune Guissé,” released in 2013 by Prince Arts. Alioune is signed with New African Production, Inc.
Born in Senegal to a Gewel griot family, singer and percussionist SIDY SAMB is the son of Daro Mbaye, one of the first women singers in the popular mbalax genre and from whom he learned the foundations of technique and composition. On a visit to Seville, Spain for the 1992 World Expo, he discovered a passion for flamenco music and decided to make his home there. He quickly found his way into the music scene and became a founding member of Mártires del Compás (Martyrs of the Compass), a seminal “nuevo flamenco” band, that same year.Read More
Bidew Bou Bess
BIDEEW BOU BESS (“New Star” in the Wolof language) is a performing group of three brothers: Moctar, Baïdy and Ibrahima Sall. The trio is recognized throughout Senegal for their innovative mix of musical genres and languages, as well as for their attention and commitment to important social issues at home and abroad. Natives of Podor, the brothers relocated to Senegal’s capital city, Dakar, where as young hip-hoppers they began performing in 1994. After winning a contest organized by the Ministry of Education in 1996, they caught the attention of Senegalese cultural icon Youssou Ndour.Read More
MAIMOUNATA (“Maï”) LINGANI is one of the most popular singers and songwriters of Burkina Faso, West Africa. She currently divides her time between New York City and Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. Maï was born in Koudougou, Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta), grew up in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, and started singing professionally during her late teens. In the mid-1990s, she won several prizes with bands playing styles ranging from reggae to the traditional musics of various Ivoirian ethnicities, and toured nationally. In 1996, she met the musicians Lukas Ligeti (of Austria, now residing in the U.S.) and Kurt Dahlke (of Germany)and participated in the recording of their group Beta Foly’s critically acclaimed CD, her first international release (“Lukas Ligeti & Beta Foly”, Intuition Records, Germany, 1997).Read More
Ndongo Bahoum Diop was born in Ziguinchor, which is the richest cultural city in Senegal, in July 1964. His nickname is Lucky. He belong to the Diola (jola) tribe, one the rare tribes where everybody is a musician! His father’s position in the justice department gave him the great opportunity to learn about the dynamic music of the Toucouleur and the Wolof tribe at his early age. At the age of 10, Lucky was already performing for his classmates. In high school, he was among the first students to join the music band which won several competitions nationwide. During his last two years in high school, he collaborated with Solo Cissokho, a prominent kora player in Senegal. Lucky spiced up his compositions with sabar, bougarabou, seyrouba and djembe rhythms. As Solo’s repertoire became more diverse, they both gained more fans.Read More