Notes from Africa: A Musical Journey with Youssou N’Dour

Unbound. Feb. 2020. 320p. ISBN 9781789650471. pap. $16.95. MUSIC
Youssou N’Dour was one of the leading musicians in the burgeoning “world music” explosion of the 1980s. His solo recordings, along with appearances on discs with the likes of Peter Gabriel, Sting, and Neneh Cherry, established his bona fides and helped promote interest in recording artists from his native Senegal and across the African continent. In 2004, Rolling Stone declared that he was “perhaps the most famous singer alive” in Senegal. International liaison manager Cathcart (Hey You!) has worked with many African artists but most closely with N’Dour, and has had a firsthand view of the artist and his collaborators, from his earliest triumphs to the present. Her book is simultaneously an insider’s look at N’Dour and his output as well as a history of Senegal, including an analysis of the current political climate (N’Dour had an unsuccessful run for president in 2012 and was later appointed minister for culture and tourism).
VERDICT An enthusiastic and enlightening view of an entertaining artist and humanitarian and his environment.
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