Preview: Youssou N'Dour

This article is from 2016

Preview: Youssou N'Dour

credit: Youri Lenquette

One of African music's greatest figures makes his EIF debut

To the vast majority of western audiences, Youssou N'Dour is known for one thing alone – his smooth, soulful vocal duet with Neneh Cherry on the huge 1994 hit single '7 Seconds'. Yet to many more in his native Senegal and with a wider appreciation of world music, the towering influence of his wider life and career is more well-known. Active since the late 1970s in his home city of Dakar with the afro-Latin group Etoile de Dakar (now the Super Etoile), he came to the attention of the west with an appearance on Peter Gabriel's So album in 1986.

Since then, both his rich and resonantly skilled tenor voice and his status as one of the African continent's most recognisable singers has brought N'Dour wide attention. From an upbringing in Dakar's tough Medina district, he has collaborated with Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Lou Reed and Ryuichi Sakamoto; written Africa Opera for the Paris Opera in 1993; appeared in Michael Apted's 2006 drama about slavery Amazing Grace; and won the Polar Music Prize in 2013. An active participant in Senegal's political as well as cultural scene, he has also held posts as the country's Minister of Culture and Tourism since 2012.

Usher Hall, 24 Aug, 8pm, £15--£34 (£7.50–£17).

Youssou N'Dour

  • 4 stars

The great Senegalese singer and bandleader in concert.