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Ismaël Lô was born from a Peul mother from Niger
and a Wolof father who was working in Niamey. Ismael
grew up in Rufisque (Senegal), where his family came from. Already as a child, he made his own
guitar with recycled materials.
He also learned to play the mouth-organ and he fixed it to the wall to have his hands free to
hold the guitar at the same time.
With Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix and Wilson Pickett as inspiration, he was presented to the
public at the age of fourteen, playing
the two instruments at the time for the national television.
In 1979, he joined Super Diamono de Dakar, and several albums were recorded, such as Darami and Mabamba. In 1984, Ismael started his solo career, with Vieux Faye, a guitar player, Sélé Thiam, former sax player of Super Diamono and Thio Mbaye, percussionnist of the Ballets d'Afrique Noire. Apart from numerous local cassette productions in Senegal, he recorded a number of albums in Europe. His popularity in Senegal was almost immediate. His music, a mix of softer guitar melodies with soulful vocals and the up-tempo mbalax rhythms, as well as the lyrics, addressing social issues and politics, contributed to the success. The international recognition came with the compilation album
|Dabah||2001||Mercury (France) 548 858-2 / Universal||Also on Wrasse Records WRASS043|
|The Balladeer - Best of Ismael Lô||2001||Wrasse Records WRASS 031|
|Tadieu bone||1999||Sono CDS7053||Best of compilation|
|Jammu Africa||1997||Mercury 314 534 233-2|
|Ismael Lo (Tajabone)||1991||Barclay 847972-2|
|Diawar||1989||Syllart 38759-2||Also on Stern's STCD 1027|
|Xiif||1985||Syllart SYL 8321|
|Xalat||1984||Syllart SYL 8314|
|Gor Sayina||1981||Bellot Records||Ismael Lo - l'homme orchestre|
See also Toshiya Endo's
African music discography for a comprehensive list (Incl. local productions).
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Copyright © 1998-2006 Frank Bessem