Out of the office and back to the international stage, Senegalese mbalax king, Youssou Ndoure and his Super Etoile Band have finished Touring France with what could be described as Ndoure’s music comeback at a grand concert. Youssou Ndoure was clearly enjoying himself on his big return show. It was the evening of October 12 and the Palais Omnisports at Paris-Bercy was sold out for his 14th Big Show in France!
The concert was Ndoure’s first after leaving office as Senegal’s minister of Culture. Born in Dakar in 1959, Youssou Ndoure is one of the most successful African artistes of recent times. He started his career as a child performer. He took formally to the stage at age 12 and by his mid-teens was singing regularly with the Star Band, the most successful group in Senegal at that time. In 1979, he formed his own ensemble, the Etoile de Dakar, which, by 1981, had evolved into The Super Etoile.
The crowd saw a star-studded spectacle with guest appearances of Guinea’s golden voice Sékouba ‘Bambino’ Diabaté Senegal’s Pape Diouf. Senegal’s divaViviane Chidid , is as big a star as her former brother-in-law Youssou himself also made an appearance. These days no Senegalese show is complete without a cameo by the nation’s biggest national sports heroes and sure enough, wrestling champion Balla Gaye II joined the band on stage for few dance routines.
The Super Etoile, guided by Youssou Ndoure has crafted and invented a thoroughly modern African pop style, one which has gone on to influence artists as diverse as Peter Gabriel .Gambians and Senegalese alike from all areas of the world all flocked to Bercy to watch a magnificent show.