Cheikh Lo

Decades: 1990s 2000s


12 September 1955, Bobo Dioulassa, Burkina Faso. The son of Senegalese parents, Lô became interested in music, especially Congolese rumba and the Cuban ‘son’ style from which it derived, at an early age. He frequently played truant from school in order to practice on a borrowed guitar and drum-kit. He made his professional debut in 1976, playing percussion with a local band called Orchestra Volta Jazz. Lô then moved to Senegal where he played drums with Ouza, and in 1984, he became drummer and vocalist with the house band of the Hotel Savana. The following year he moved to Paris, where he spent three years working as a session musician; he played on a wide variety of recording sessions, including work with Papa Wemba. On his return to Senegal in 1987, Lô tried to rejoin the Hotel Savana band, only to be turned away because of the flowing dreadlocks he now sported. He decided to concentrate on developing his own material and in 1990...

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