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Africando - Viva Africando - 2013


Africando is a famous and legendary group born in Senegal, an inescapable reference of the so-called "African sauce". Made up of artists from Africa, as well as New Yorkers and Puerto Ricans, the band was created as a musical project in the early 1990s and celebrates the African tradition of salsa music. Seven years after his last production, Ketukuba (a work that emphasizes the links between Cuba and Africa), Viva Africando (2013) is his eighth production, for the London label Sterns Music.

The history of this album is quite an odyssey. While Africando's first seven albums were mostly or entirely recorded in New York, for this eighth album New Yorkers had to travel to Paris. That was not the initial plan, but the war in Mali intervened, making it impossible for the arranger and musical director, Boncana Maïga, to renew his visa to the United States. Fortunately, he was able to go to France, although the first tracks were recorded in Bamako (Mali) and Dakar (Senegal). In Paris he reconnects with Ibrahima Sylla, producer and mastermind of Africando (who passed away at the end of the production), and in November 2012 they are joined by the six New York musicians, led by pianist Oscar Hernández, who has been a integral part of Africando desde Gombo Salsa (1996)

Many familiar voices adorn Viva Africando. Veteran Senegalese singer Medoune Diallo, founding member of the band. SékoubaBambino, one of Guinea's great stars from her youth at Bembeya Jazz National, who joined Africando in 1996 and remains a permanent member while continuing her successful solo career. Roger Eugène, better known as Shoubou, a patriarch of the prominent Haitian band Tabou Combo, which has combined with his participation in Africando for seventeen years. A pioneer of modern music in Burkina Faso, Amadou Ballaké, appearing for the fourth time in a production of the band.

Jos Spinto, who has participated in Africando in the last decade, dedicates one of the songs to Gnonnas Pedro, a music star in his home country, Benin, who was the lead singer of Africando between 1995 and 2004, the year of his death. . Pascal Dieng, from Dakar's Super Cayor, repeats with a second album with Africando, as does his compatriot, the Senegalese singer Bassirou Sarr of the group Dieuf-Dieul.

This album features four prominent artists who made their first appearances with Africando: René Cabral, on the Cape Verdean music scene for three decades; Lokombe Nkalulu, a member of one of the best Congolese bands of the 70s, Les Grands Maquisards; James Gadiaga, a notable of the Senegal´s Royal Band of Thiès, and Raymond Fernandes, born in Dakar and of Cape Verdean origin, who recorded his theme but who passed away before the release.

Africando has always received great artists both on stage and in the studio, not only singers but also instrumental soloists. Viva Africando has a thrilling ending with a song performed by a guest orchestra: The Spanish Harlem Orchestra, under the direction of Oscar Hernández and with singer Ray de la Paz. Today's classic salsa greats, The Spanish Harlem Orchestra, paying homage with "Africa Es" to their great ally in the cause, Africando. 

01. DeniSabali (AmadouBallaké)

02. Xallas Xallas (BassirouSarr)

03. Doundari (SékoubaBambino)

04. XamSaBop (James Gadiaga)

05. Es Para Ti Gnonnas (JosSpinto)

06. En Vacances (Shoubou)

07. Maria Mboka (Lokombe)

08. Ma Won Mio (Jos Spinto)

09. Yen Djiguengny (Pascal Dieng)

10. Noche con Santana (Rene Cabral & Eddie Zervigon)

11. Destino (Raymond Fernandes)

12. Bouré Yayé Diama (Medoune Diallo)

13. Africa Es "Tribute to Africando" (Ray De la Paz &The Spanish Harlem Orchestra)

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