Youssou Ndour

October 30, 2018 @ 7:30 pm
Kennedy Center
2700 F St NW
Washington, DC 20566
Youssou Ndour @ Kennedy Center | Washington | District of Columbia | United States

The Senegalese singer, percussionist, and humanitarian—dubbed “perhaps the most famous singer alive” by Rolling Stone—is an undisputed giant of world music. First introduced to American audiences on seminal albums such as Paul Simon’s Graceland and Peter Gabriel’s So, his mix of traditional Senegalese mbalax with eclectic influences ranging from Cuban samba to Hip Hop, jazz, and soul has won him an international fan base of millions. Last at the Kennedy Center to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps in 2011, NDOUR now brings his stratospheric vocals, visionary African rhythms, and powerful messages of social activism and tolerance to the Concert Hall.

Renée Fleming says:
Applauded around the world as one of the most beloved African musicians of our time, singer-songwriter Youssou NDOUR is an inspiring example of the power of the artist’s voice in society. Known as the ‘King of Mbalax,’ the popular music of Senegal, he has helped expand traditional music into a style that is completely modern, and an affirming expression of national identity. Similarly, through his work as a politician and media innovator, he has also evolved the centuries-old West African tradition of the Griot: a troubadour, poet, and historian with a special place in the community. To me, Youssou NDOUR embodies John F. Kennedy’s belief that the life of the arts is close to the center of a nation’s purpose.”