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Monday September 15, 2014

From The New York Times

Commanding the Stage With Words and Dancing Feet
By Jon Pareles

Ushers at the Brooklyn Academy of Music fought a brief, losing battle against concertgoers surging into the aisle to dance when the Senegalese singer and bandleader Youssou N’Dour performed there on Friday night. All the better: Mr. N’Dour — a superstar across Africa and the French-speaking world since the 1980s, a 2012 presidential candidate in Senegal and the winner of the 2013 Polar Music Prize — leads one of Africa’s greatest and most nimble bands, Le Super Étoile. With the audience on its feet, the synergy between performers and listeners only grew.

Mr. N’Dour’s incessantly danceable music rides hurtling four-against-six grooves: from a percussion section crackling with high-speed talking drum, from guitars that can echo the staccato picking of the kora or mesh like a funk band, from keyboards that hint at West African balafon (marimba) or offer sleek contemporary tones. Before the audience got moving, there had already been bursts of frenetic footwork onstage from Le Super Étoile’s dancer, Moussa Sonko.

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