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Best of The Beat on Afropop: Cheikh Lô

It’s globalFEST time in NYC, the annual extravaganza showcasing diverse sounds from all around the world: some new, some longstanding favorites. If you go, you must see Cheikh Lô’s performance.

As Beat writer Susan Cummings Maroni noted in this 2003 feature article, “Lô first captured the attention of American audiences as a participant in 1998’s Africa Fetȇ tour. His album, Ne la Thiass, (produced by Youssou N’dour in 1996) was notable for its vibrant melange of jazz, salsa, a touch of mbalax, and exquisite ballads.” He also claims Tabu Ley Rochereau as his personal musical hero, and was deeply influenced by Cuban son, as well as the West African styles absorbed during his youth spent in Senegal.

He has issued some eight albums in his fruitful career. Beyond the globalFEST performance, he is on tour in the U.S. Check listings for Boston, Berkeley, CA, Portland, OR and Seattle.