Sunday, March 18, 2007

Video # 3 Cheikh Lo + sundries

An eventful Saturday has passed and I'm here on a breezy Sunday afternoon in Dakar. Waiting for Youtube to upload a video of Cheikh Lo from Pen'Art last night. Check it here:

My intention actually was to go hear Orchestra Baobab at Just 4 You. I went over there around midnight and talked my way inside without paying the cover since I've met the manager of Just 4 You a few times. It was packed with tons of tubabs as well as Senegalese people out on a saturday night. Orchestra Baobab is a Senegalese institution so their shows bring in tons of folks. I got there right as it was about to begin. The stage was set up, mics turned on, everything was ready to go. But no band. After about ten minutes someone got up and said into the microphone: "Mesdames et Messieurs, je suis desolee, mais Orchestra Baobab ne sont pas ici ce soir. La prochaine Samedi n'sha'allah." Translation: "Ladies and gentleman, I'm very sorry, but tonight Orchestra Baobab is not here. Next Saturday, god willing." Just like that, no Orchestra Baobab. Who really knows what happened, but whatever it was, it was beyond anyone's control. I decided to go around the corner and see who was playing at Pen'Art. Not a bad consolation to see Cheikh Lo. The only problem was lots of other people from Just 4 You had the same idea so it quickly became very packed in that small club. I lasted about 1 1/2 hours before the crowd got the best of me and I went home to crash. But not before getting a couple videos, glad to report. Cheikh Lo plays a mix of m'balax, salsa, reggae, r n'b, and pop. I wasn't into his timbale playing/bandleading too much (Tito Puente he is not), but he's got a great voice and a tight band. Particularly killin' tama (talking drum) player.

I was rinsed as well from going to hear my teachers group Sing Sing Juniors play a saturday program for young women in the late afternoon. As we were walking through the streets to his program, we went past a house where a baptism celebration was taking place. Sing Sing Seniors were the hired Sabar group. These are the older members of the Faye family, the serious badasses. Again, my teacher Malick and his young siblings are bad to be sure, but the older members of the family are that much more so. My only regret is that after two hours of a Sing Sing Juniors concert, my ears were oversaturatedso I only caught a little of the Sing Sing Seniors program. They were raging, but I was maxed out. I'll catch them with fresh ears another day, n'sha'allah.

Now, time for lunch then off to my 7th sabar lesson.

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