Orchestra Baobab

Orchestra Baobab was one of Africa's most popular bands during the 1970s and early-'80s, performing a mixture of indigenous Wolof music, son cubano, and other West African sounds. The group formed in Dakar, Senegal, in 1970, with bandleader Baro N'Diaye piecing together a seven-piece lineup that included guitarist Barthélémy Attisso and griot singer Laye M'Boup. Initially playing weekend shows as the house band at the Baobab Club, Orchestra Baobab released a string of albums during the 1970s, beginning with 1971's Orchestre du Baobab and ending with the two-volume Baobab à Paris series, which found the band recording in France. The band's lineup experienced multiple changes during that decade, with saxophonist Issa Cissokho replacing Baro N'Diaye as the group's leader in 1971 and Thione Seck — who would later launch a successful solo career — replacing Laye M'Boup in 1974. Although Thione Seck had left the band by the 1980s, the soaring popularity of world music made Orchestra Baobab a popular name not only in West Africa, but throughout much of the free world. The band took advantage of this recognition and released albums like 1983's Bamba with an international audience in mind. As the decade progressed, though, mbalax artists like Youssou N'Dour and former Orchestra Baobab vocalist Thione Seck became the dominant African artists of the day, rendering Orchestra Baobab's music obsolete. The group broke up in 1987. Thanks to a continued interest in world music, many of the band's albums were issued during the 1990s, leading to a reunion in 2001 and a comeback album, 2002's Specialist in All Styles. Orchestra Baobab appeared in the 2003 documentary Trey and Dave Go to Africa, which was created by Trey Anatasio and Dave Matthews and contributed to the band's resurgence of popularity in America, then continued creating new material with 2007's Made in Dakar and 2017's Tribute to Ndiouga Dieng. Thione Seck often collaborated with the group on tour, joining his former bandmates for sporadic performances until his death in March 2021.

Related Artists

Stations Featuring Orchestra Baobab

Please enable Javascript to view this page competely.