The origin of Africando
is unique in African music: it stems from
a project initiated by West African star producer Ibrahima Sylla
and Malian arranger
reuniting New York based salsa musicians with Senegalese singers
who have been singing latin tinged songs since decades, i.e. Pap Seck
(ex-Star Band de Dakar),
(ex-Youssou N'Dour's Super Etoile de Dakar
and Medoune Diallo
(formerly with Orchestre Baobab
Boncana Maiga, who was part of the Maravillas de Mali
, a band of Cuba based Malian music
students, is originally a flautist but also an expert in Cuban music (he is said to own a collection of
6,000 Cuban records!). The Senegalese singers were among the best, and the salsa musicians
had worked with Fania All Stars, Orquestra Broadway, Eddie Palmieri or Tito Puente.
The first two volumes were a big success both in Africa and in the rest of the world. Tragically,
singer Pap Seck died soon after, in 1995. Replacement was found in Gnonnas Pedro
and Ronnie Baró
of Orquestra Broadway, who had already worked with Africando previously.
Sadly, Gnonnas Pedro died in 2004.
On later albums, a range of other singers were added in the project (also during live tours), for instance
. For particular songs, guest singers were invited, such as
, Thione Seck
which led to the new name Africando All Stars
In the beginning, some of the songs were Latin classics sung in Wolof or a mix of Wolof and Spanish, others were Senegalese
hits from the past decades. On more recent albums, a number of African classics were redone with latin rhythms and
instrumentation. With both approaches, Africando has been equally successful.
in 1992, by Ibrahima Sylla and Boncana Maiga
salsa / afro-latin