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Saturday, June 13, 2009 Options
Youssou N'Dour

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Youssou N'Dour is simply the most popular African artist in the world today. He is truly an icon - Time Magazine put him on their list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

But sometimes such influence has a price: In 2004 he broke from his usual two streams of music - mbalax dance albums for the Senegalese audience, and crossover pop albums for the international audience - and did something entirely different: An album of songs performed with an Egyptian orchestra and dedicated to Sufi saints called Egypt.

While Egypt was a huge hit abroad, leading to his first Grammy, there was a firestorm back home in the Islamic country of Senegal, where some considered the songs to be blasphemous.

A new film by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, I Bring What I Love, documents the controversy and the rapprochement that followed. Youssou N'Dour came to town for the premiere, and concerts at BAM to launch the Muslim Voices Festival. He spoke with Rob about this experience, his latest cd Rokku Mi Rokka (Nonesuch) and other musical adventures.

Screening info for I Bring What I Love (at IFC Center, BAM Rose Cinemas and the Paris Theater in NY, and soon to come in other cities):

This Week's Playlist:

(* = new)

Kinky: Diablo Azul Options / Barracuda / Kin Kon / *

Marcio Local: Sentemiento Rei Options / Says Don Day Don Dree Don Don / Luaka Bop / *

Aterciopelados: Para Mi Solito Options / Con el Corazon en la Mano / RCA

L'Occidentale de Fanfare: Hopopop Options / Hopopop / Daqui

Bagad Saint Nazaire: Cap Au Sud Options / QM2 / Bagad Saint Nazaire

Okay Temiz & Group Zourna: Ada Ciftetellisi Options / Karsilama / ADA Muzik

Pece Atansovski: Dracevka Options / Various Artists: Gypsy Rumba / Disky

Warsaw Village Band: Wise Kid Song Options / Infinity / Barbes / *

Tanya Tagaq: Fire Options / Auk (Blood) / Ipecac Recordings

Iren Lovasz and Laszlo Hortobagyi: Conquest Options / Vilagfa / Fono

Palya Bea: The Devil and the Old Witch Options / Just One Voice / Sony / *

Beyond the Pale: Solution Options / Postcards / Borealis / *

Youssou N'Dour and Etoile de Dakar: Mane Kouma Xol Options / Various Artists: Golden Afrique Volume 1 / Network

Youssou N'Dour: Bou Leen Coupe Options / Special Fin D'Anee Plus / Pape Thiam

Youssou N'Dour: Cheikh Ibra Fall Options / Egypt / Nonesuch

Youssou N'Dour: Shukran Bamba Options / Egypt / Nonesuch

Youssou N'Dour: Sama Gàmmu [My Rival] Options / Rokku Mi Rokka / Nonesuch

Youssou N'Dour: Touba - Daru Salaam Options / Egypt / Nonesuch

Youssou N'Dour: Baay Niasse Options / Egypt / Nonesuch

Thione Seck: Manmignoul Options / Orientation / Sterns

Hamid Kane: Yaram Fall Options / Akassa / Offbeat

Novalima: Se Me Van Options / Coba Coba Remixed / Cumbancha / *
EarthRise Bedouin Breakdown Remix

Mahmoud Guenya: Marhba Options / Gnaoua / Azza Production

Najat Aatabou: Baghi Narjah Options / The Voice of the Atlas / GlobeStyle

Eva Ayllon: El Muneco de la Ciudad Options / Kimbafa / Times Square / *

On Ka'a Davis: Return-Send Options / Seeds of Djuke / Live Wired / *

King Sunny Ade: Ariya Options / Seven Degrees North / Easy Street / *

Listener comments!

  Sat. 6/13/09 6:23pm Ryan:

This has to be the best way to end the work day. Your musical services are most highly appreciated.
  Sat. 6/13/09 6:27pm Your DJ:

Thanks Ryan!
  Sat. 6/13/09 7:03pm Ryan:

I enjoyed the songs, but I have dolmades waiting at home! I'll savor a few for you!
  Sat. 6/13/09 8:09pm Ken From Hyde Park:

I really enjoy Youssou N'Dour. Thanks for having him in tonight.
  Sat. 6/13/09 8:16pm listener carl:

great interview
  Sat. 6/13/09 8:18pm Your DJ:

Thanks guys!
  Mon. 6/15/09 3:53pm dirk zaffer rombouts:

Hi Rob
Youssou was my neighbour in Dakar ( Yoff).
Just like Baabaa Maal. Legendary in Senegal !
Youssou - Nanga Def ?
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