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).
In 1997, Maï relocated to Ouagadougou, where she quickly became one of the most in-demand singers, both as a soloist and as a background vocalist. With the Orchestre Yumba, she was in residence at the Zaka, Ouaga’s premier live music club, and developed her songwriting skills. In 1998, backed by the Yumba, she won the Grand Prix National de la Chanson Moderne Burkinabè, her country’s most important music award; this launched her as a national celebrity, and in the following years, she made countless concert and TV appearances. Reuniting with Beta Foly, she toured Europe in 1999, performing at venues such as the Mozart Hall of the Konzerthaus in Vienna, Austria; the World Music Meeting in Nijmegen, The Netherlands; and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Strasbourg, France. During this time, she was also featured on many concerts and recording sessions of leading artists from Burkina and elsewhere such as Bil Aka Kora, Zedess, Martin N’Terry, and Askia Modibo, recorded in Germany with Kurt Dahlke’s electronica group A Certain Frank (“Nothing”, AtaTak/Caroline, Germany, 2001), and composed music for films by the well-known Burkinabè director, Fanta Régina Nacro. In 2000, she recorded her first solo album, “Entrons dans la danse”, produced by Lukas Ligeti and released by the Burkinabè record label, Seydoni. The music of this album, with Maï’s lyrics in the Moré, Dioula, Bissa, and French languages, combines a deep knowledge of Burkina Faso’s traditional music with the openmindedness of a true musical innovator.
Since 2001, Maï has divided her time between Ouaga and New York. As a voice-electronics duo with Lukas Ligeti and featuring guest artists such as Abdoulaye Diabaté and Dafna Naphtali, she performed in numerous venues such as the United Nations Headquarters, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, and Stanford and Sacramento State Universities. They also performed a highly unusual concert as part of the Ars Electronica Festival in Austria, Ligeti playing in a concert hall in Linz, Austria, and Lingani at a radio station in Ouagadougou, connected via a telephone line; the concert was broadcast live in both countries. In America, Maï has also collaborated with artists such as Sylvain Leroux & Source, Balla Tounkara, Francis M’Bappé, Akoya Afrobeat Ensemble, Kaleta, New York African Chorus, and many others, performing at clubs in New York and elsewhere; at the Schomburg Center for Black Culture; Floydfest in Floyd, VA; the Nuits d’Afrique Festival in Montreal, and as far afield as the Salmon Run Festival in Kelowna, BC; as an accompanist, she was called to back up fellow African stars such as Monique Seka, Nayanka Bell, King Angelo, and others. She was also featured by seminal jazz artist Paul Winter in his Winter Solstice Celebration concerts at New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine. In 2004, she co-founded the group Burkina Electric with her longtime associates, Lukas Ligeti, Kurt Dahlke, and Burkinabè guitarist Wende K. Blass. The group’s objective is to bring new concepts to both Burkinabè music and Western club electronica by infusing computer-based performance with rhythms and other elements of Burkinabè traditons. A first, very successful tour took place in Austria in 2004. The group has just finished recording its first CD, which will be released in Burkina Faso in May, 2006, when Burkina Electric will be featured at this year’s Ouagadougou Jazz Festival.
Sidy Samb 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 […]
Bideew Bou Bess
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. […]
Mai Lingani 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 […]
LUCKY DIOP 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 […]
KING IBU Ibu hails from Podor, a small town in Senegal, Afrika. Ibu picked up the guitar at the age of twelve, starting a special relationship with music. Self taught, he studies music like one would study a language. Very early he found himself surrounded by various styles of music from Pulaar rhythms to American […]
KANDA BONGO MAN
KANDA BONGO MAN Kanda Bongo Man, born in 1955 in Inongo in the Belgian Congo (formerly Zaire) of the Bandundu people, is one of the foremost figures in modern African popular music. He left school at the age of 18 to join a local Kinshasa band, playing the hot rhumba sound of the time. He […]
HABIB FAYE Bass player, guitar player, keyboardist, composer and Grammy-nominated producer, Habib Faye has been the musical director for the Youssou N’Dour band for the past 25 years or so. He has arranged and produced most of the band’s albums since 1986. A celebrated African bass player, who counts Brandford Marsalis, Joe Zawinul and Darryl […]
Group Caribe Grupo Caribe is a swinging Mambo Salsa Dance Band based in New York City! The band performs traditional Salsa dance music with pulsating percussive riffs, steady piano and bass montuno vamps, adorned by a rhythmic and melodic brass section, and full-bodied vocals reminiscent of the 1960’s and 70’s. Grupo Caribe have been featured […]
Fallou Dieng Masters of “mbalax” dance rhythms, Fallou Dieng et le DLC are the foremost group to have emerged from Senegal in recent times. Hailed throughout West Africa as “le Roi de l’Ambiance,” Fallou has created some of Dakar’s most thrilling dance music, where cracking sabar drums, driving polyrhythms, funky guitar riffs and staccato horns […]
Emily She is the reigning Queen of Haitian Song: a captivating performer, versatile vocalist and one of the premier Haitian songwriters of her generation. She has recorded and appeared on concert stages throughout the Caribbean, Europe, and North & South America for over 20 years. Singing both in French and Haitian Creole, her nine albums, […]
CHARANGA SOLEIL CHARANGA SOLEIL brings together three of the world’s greatest dance genres: Cuban salsa, Haitian compas, and Congolese rumba-soukous! In addition to the standard charanga instrumentation (flute, violin, piano, bass, conga, vocals and chorus), the group includes the Cuban tres and a full drum set, and sometimes even a 21-string West African kora (among […]
Awilo Longomba Awilo Longomba was born in Kinshasa (formally, Léopoldville). His father was from the Mongo region of the Ecuador and his mother was also from the Ecuador region of Ngombe and Congo Brazzaville. His father, Vicky Longomba, was the famous lead singer and founder of “Tout puissant OK Jazz” during the golden age of […]
Alioune Mbaye Nder
Alioune Mbaye Nder Summer 1999: the song “Pansement” by Alioune Mbaye Nder & Le Setsima Group has hit the airwaves, and can be heard non-stop on all FM stations and in discotheques throughout Senegal. “Pansement” (i.e. “bandage”) is the story of a husband who desperately tries to get his angry wife to pardon him and thus end […]
Alioune Guisse 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.
Yawo A native of Togo, West Africa, Yawo started his musical career at the “Ecole Experimentale de musique” of Lome, where he studied flute, classical guitar, and electric bass. As the leader of the high school band he formed with his brother and sister, Yawo Attivor developed a talent for composing and arranging music that […]
Birahim BIRAHIM represents the new generation of Senegalese artists whose work is influenced by a wider range of musical styles than previous generations. This talented young singer, lyricist and composer moves easily between traditional Mbalax and internationally popular genres such as reggae, r&b and hip-hop. With a smooth and well-cultivated vocal quality, he sings in Wolof, […]
Bakalama The folkloric dance and percussion group BAKALAMA was founded in 1972 specifically to celebrate and advance Senegal’s cultural heritage, and has been doing so successfully ever since, with original productions and performances worldwide.
Sheba “Ethiopia await, all Prince and Princess!”—so chants famed reggae artist Buju Banton on his album ‘Til Shiloh, but what Buju didn’t know was that the wait would soon be over; Ethiopia birthed an artist–a true embodiment of the Reggae movement’s romantic longing for Ethiopia. Her name: SHEBA Sahlemariam, a refugee from the majestic war-torn […]
Pape Diouf Born in 1973 in Dakar, PAPE CHEIKH DIOUF is from a guewel (griot) family originally of the Siné-Saloum Delta region in southwestern Senegal. As a youth, he was sent to his uncle’s house to learn the plumbing trade. But his passion was music, which he pursued in his spare time and ultimately decided was […]
Xalam New African Production is pleased to announce the rebirth of an African musical legend: Senegalese m’balax pioneers Xalam2 return as Xalam