Author-composer, singer, percussionist, Balla Sidibé, who had co-founded the legendary band Orchestra Baobab, died Wednesday, July 29, near Dakar, a-t-on learned by the Association trades the music of Senegal (AMS). Balla Sidibé was 78 years old and was a native of Casamance. "He did not wake up this [Wednesday] morning after a day of rehearsal filled with his fellow musicians," wrote the AMS in a press release, claiming to have lost " a father, a sage and a friend." Died in Thiaroye, in the suburbs of Dakar, to the following "a short illness" not specified, according to the local press, Balla Sidibé was accompanied until its last remains late yesterday afternoon in the cemetery of the same city. The group is celebrating this year its fiftieth anniversary. "Senegal has lost one of its monuments this morning," adds the press release.
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"Dean of the orchestra"
Balla Sidibé was a founding member of Orchestra Baobab, which owes its name to a famous club, located at 44, rue Jules-Ferry, and very popular with the elite of the dakar in the 1970s, at a time when are born of the great musical ensembles in Africa. "Balla Sidibé was the dean of the orchestra. Frankly, we have lost a monument that doubled as an outstanding musician, because he was a singer and timbaliste [percussionist] at the same time, " said Thierno Kouyaté, the director of the group, quoted by the news Agency of senegal (APS). In fact, this maestro who has abandoned a career in the police to make music, had introduced the songs in the mandingo and casamançaises in the repertoire of this famous musical group on the african continent.
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Orchestra Baobab loses his voice
At the time, the competition is fierce, and the face of the rise of a certain Youssou n'dour, the king of mbalax, the Orchestra Baobab stops. In big fan, Youssou n'dour asks them to return to the front of the stage in producing the album renaissance Specialist in All Styles, in 2002, recorded in his studio, he is followed by Made in Dakar, in 2007. Ten years later, the group has come back with a tribute album to one of his singers Tribute To Ndiouga Dieng, crowned with an international tour. Balla Sidibé was also the architect of the revival of the group. Appealing to new recruits such Abdoulaye Cissoko, young Dakar known to be the prince of the kora, but also René Sowatche, a Beninese who has played in the legendary Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou.
A page is turned
beyond the music community in senegal, the reactions are from all over the world, bears witness to this message of World Circuit, the label of the Orchestra Baobab originally posted on Instagram : "Balla was a giant of african music and a wonderful man and sweet. "Or even the famous label Syllart, based in Paris :" We have just learned of the demise of the legendary singer of the Orchestra Baobab : Balla Sidibé. A pioneer of the syncretism of music says afro-latin fusion of music folklore from senegal and the music cuban, Balla Sidibé was a gentleman of the Belle Époque. "
" great loss for Senegal and african music : Balla Sidibé is one of the founders of the legendary Orchestra Baobab, which he was preparing for the 50th anniversary. It leaves us in 2020 after Aurlus Mabélé, Manu Dibango, Tony Allen, Mory Kanté. Peace to his soul, " wrote one internet user.
"His impact, and the impact of this group on the music, not only in Senegal but in the whole world is immeasurable," wrote Bryan Vargas, american artist. The group had scheduled several concerts, including one in France expected in April, a tour in the birthday postponed because of the pandemic of the Covid-19.
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