Senegal’s Orchestra Baobab was one of the essential bands of world music throughout West Africa and Europe – blending the electric guitar and cool vibe of youth culture with more traditional local songs and beats, into a warm, relaxed, original sound all their own.
They recently released their first studio album in nearly 20 years — Specialist In All Styles – and it quickly ended up atop many a critic’s list. In 2004, Orchestra Baobab was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album and was also the featured artist for a VH1 concert special featuring Trey Anastasio (of Phish) and Dave Matthews (who traveled to Senegal to be a part of the filming).
Orchestra Baobab’s legendary status among connoisseurs of West African popular music is based on the band’s warm, relaxed blend of Cuban Son, Rumba, and Bolero and local Senegalese rhythms and warm, soulful vocal inflections, cool nocturnal sax and fleet-fingered, filigreed African electric guitar.
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.