Spain gets a taste of Senegal

In the north of Sénégal near the holy city of Touba lies Louga; the hometown to Babacar Dieng and his band Diengoz. Diengoz's music is a mixture of traditional roots and modern music, based on Senegalese Sabar and Djembe drums mixed with the Manding harp-lute, kora and electric guitar.

Founded 1988 Diengoz, the band's members were born in to a family of griots that belongs to the Wolof tribe, the Diengs. In fact that is what the group's name refers to, there family name and ancestral origins.

Master drummer Babacar Dieng
Babacar Dieng

Babacar, his father, and his grandfather Mamadou Dieng, were all born in to the griot tradition. In their time, each was a honored Great Drummer and First Griot of Senegal. Babacar has accompanied Yousou N'dour in his African tours as a drummer, and he has also collaborated with Baba Maal in La Mar de Musicas Festival in Cartagena, Spain.

Bekai Jorbateh Diengoz's Kora player was born in Kabu, Guinea Bissau. A seventh generation kora jeli (griot), he is a member of the family who inherited an ancient musical tradition. Oral folklore claims that this tradition was founded by Bekai's grandfather Jaliwally Jorbateh, musician of the king Jankewaly.

Diengoz's premiere performance was at the Louga International Music Festival. The following year they moved to France, where they stayed for two years. During this sojourn they took part in the Francophone Festival or Angouleme Festival. They came back to Senegal in 1991, where they were offered to join in the Montreux Festival, and, in 1993, they took part in a tour all over Europe for the benefit of the Aldea SOS non-governmental organization.

In 1995 Diengoz toured the main Spanish cities, such as Malaga, Gijon, Pamplona and Madrid, where the group eventually settled down. Once in the capital, they were offered to take part in the most important festivals in Spain: Madrid, Reggae Festival (1996), Ibiza, World Music (1996), Barcelona, Reggae Festival (1997), Cartagena, La Mar de Musicas (1999), etc. In the year 1996 the group edited their first record, called Dieu Dieuf (prounced jerry jeff-- Wolof for 'thank you').

Diengoz finished their second record Ndiguel in 1998. Considered the best of their two albums, so far. Ndiguel was recorded in Madrid and mixed in Barcelona by the american recording engineer Dennis Herman. The good recording quality of this album has amazed audiences even on the first audition. With its unique high energy interpretation of "Mbalax' a Senegalese musical style, and the blending of the kora and electric guitar the resulting Sena-gamiba afro-pop sound is sure to please.

The CD includes 12 original tracks that include percussion solos based on the Muslim Sufi rituals know as Tabala, Manding kora themes that praise the ancestral heroes, like Bambaleye or Lalia; to traditional songs such as Sunu Gaal or the sensational Appolo, and fusion of the latest rhythms danced in the African discos, like Laye Fall, Bousso and Diebulu.

Ndiguel CD Cover

Top of this page

  1. Intro
  2. Bamba [Mp3 @ 844k]
  3. Laye Fall
  4. Lalia [Mp3 @ 780k]
  5. Bousso
  6. Appolo [Mp3 @ 876]
  7. Baku Mbeer
  8. Diebulu
  9. Bambaleye
  10. Sunu Gaal
  11. Kelebante
  12. Yaye Boy
  13. Caroline
  14. Outro

Order your copy of Ndiguel direct from Cora Connection. (There are only a limited number of copies available! Get you copy for $16 plus postage.)

If your in Spain you can email for more information on tour dates or to get your copy of Ndiguel!

copyright © 2000 all rights reserved