Orchestra Baobab

Genres: World
Decades Active: 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s


Formed in 1970 as the weekend house band at a Dakar club for government officials, Orchestra Baobab (aka Orchestre Du Bawobab) were early Senegalese fusionists who paved the way for artists such as Youssou N’Dour and Touré Kunda. The original line-up included Baro N’Diaye (saxophone), Barthelemy Attisso (guitar), Latfi Benjeloum (guitar), Charlie N’Diaye (bass), Mountage Koite (drums) and singers Laye Mboup (d. 1974), Balla Sidibe and Rudy Gomis. M’Boup, a popular Wolof griot singer, was the original lead vocalist on the band’s Cuban-style hits ‘N’Diaye’ and ‘Yaraf’. Later recruits included horn player Issa Cissoko, a John Coltrane disciple who brought a strong jazz influence, Peter Udo (clarinet), Ndiouga Dieng (vocals) and Thione Seck (vocals). The latter was brought in after the death of Mboup in a 1974 car crash.

Originally the group drew on material inherited from Senegalese...

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