Unfortunately, due to issues having to do with visa processing, the tour with Cheikh Lo will be delayed and this show needs to be cancelled. All tickets purchased will be refunded.
Limited seating dance party. Please contact the box office for any accessibility concerns or to hold seating.
Cheikh Lô is one of the great mavericks of African music. A superb singer, guitarist, and percussionist he has created his sound, an evolution of Senegalese mbalax, the intricate dance music of Senegal, by incorporating a variety of West African music.
Lô dedicates both his life and music to Baye Fall, a specifically Senegalese form of Islam. It’s a part of the larger Islamic brotherhood of Mouridism which was established by Bamba (Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba M’Becke) at the end of the 19th century. Bamba’s closest disciple Cheikh Ibra Fall established the Baye Fall movement. Lo’s own visual style is inspired by the Baye Fall trademarks - patchwork clothes and long dreadlocks.
Cheikh Lô was born in 1955, to Senegalese parents in Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, not far from the border with Mali, where he grew up speaking Bambara (language of Mali), Wolof (language of Senegal) and French. From an early age Lô was only interested in music, running away from school to teach himself guitar and percussion on borrowed instruments.
In 1984 he moved to Paris and worked as a studio session drummer. He recalls: “Studio – sleep – studio for two years. I absorbed a lot of Congolese and Cameroonian music during this period”. That’s only when he returned to Senegal that he concentrated on his own music.
Cheikh’s first cassette ‘Doxandeme’ (‘Immigrants’), on which he sang about the experience of being Senegalese abroad, came out in 1990. Despite his reservations about the quality of the local production, it sold well and earned him the ‘Nouveau Talent’ award in Dakar.
The now-legendary Youssou N’Dour first encountered Lô as a session singer in 1989. “Whenever he sang the choruses I was overwhelmed by his voice,” explains N’Dour “but I really got to know him from his cassette ‘Doxandeme’. I heard his voice and said “wow” – I found something in his voice that’s like a voyage through Burkina, Niger, Mali”.
Lô’ eventual signature sound – a semi-acoustic, Spanish-tinged take on the popular mbalax style – was an instant success in Senegal, gaining him a dedicated local following. ‘Set’ – a plea to clean up the streets during a Dakar municipal strike, was broadcast on loudspeakers throughout the country in a campaign by the Ministry of Health.
“‘Ne La Thiass’” was released internationally on World Circuit in 1996. His early performances prompted rave reviews – ‘A rare talent destined to become one of world music’s biggest stars’, The Times – ‘a compelling performer with energy and personality to match that of the early Bob Marley’, The Guardian.
Cheikh Lô is an artist unlike any other in music. It’s not just his unique appearance – with long dreadlocks and his colorful patchwork clothes – that sets him apart; his career is constantly evolving, incorporating influences from around the world. Wherever his musical journey takes him you can be no matter what, will always sound like Cheikh Lô.
FRI JAN 10 | 8PM | $25, $22 MEMBERS in person in advanced (+$3 online, over the phone, or at the door)