Congratulations, Minister N’Dour

This news planted a big smile on my face this morning. Youssou N’Dour, a man who helped expose me to some of the most beautiful music I’ve ever heard, has been named the Culture and Tourism minister in Senegal’s new government.

N’Dour, a Grammy-award winner and one of Africa’s most recognized artists, announced his candidacy for February’s presidential elections but his bid was rejected by the country’s constitutional council in late January. That decision, coupled with a ruling that allowed 85-year-old incumbent President Abdoulaye Wade to seek a controversial third term, fueled rising anger in the streets and sparked deadly riots. N’Dour quickly became a voice and face of the opposition and later threw his support behind former Prime Minister Macky Sall in the March run-off election again Wade. Tensions finally eased when Wade conceded defeat to Sall, who took 66 percent of the vote, just hours after the polls closed.

Like Brazilian legend Gilberto Gil, another of my early heroes in ‘World music‘, N’Dour opened my ears and eyes to an entirely new world of music, west African rhythms which themselves were the pivotal roots to so much of the music the world has enjoyed as a consequence of the African diaspora.

The shot above was taken at the Salle des Etoiles in Monaco in November 2009 when I finally got to see N’Dour perform live. He was singing this:

Here are a couple more shots from the same performance; nine in all are on my flickr stream here. To celebrate, I’ve changed the license to Creative Commons/Attribution 3.0, so you’re free to use them non-commercially. (With credit exactly as listed with photos, please.)

More from: [Daily Nation – Nairobi][BBC News – Africa][Africa Review]

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  1. Two of my favorites, Bob! You know I saw the headline of the post and forgot to check it out after I left my comment.
    Of course, I’m officially jealous as you’ve seen him in concert and I’ve yet to. Fabulous music and musician. Definitely a great ambassador for Senegalese.

  2. Sorry, Bob, I hit the Post button before I finished. That should be ‘ambassador for Senegal.’

  3. BobR says

    No need to apologize. 🙂

  4. recoverythrumylens says

    Thanks for sharing the music….I love world music too…

    1. BobR says

      Any favorites? South American? West African? All of the above?

  5. Hey Bob, just remembered this documentary on Mr. Ndour, I Bring What I Love. I’d posted the link on FB sometime ago. Not sure if you’ve seen/heard of it? Enjoy!

    1. BobR says

      Thanks, will definitely check it out when I’m back home from a quick holiday. 🙂

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