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Issa Sow

released May 20, 2009

When Issa Mbaye Diary Sow (1947, Talbakhlé) first played the nianiooru (or riti), he was a young Fulani shepherd. Each time his herd was grazing, he would start at the “violin”, developing a passion for the melancholic sounds he had heard his uncle play. He did not yet know that it would dictate the course of his life. Today, having collaborated among others with the National Orchestra of Senegal, Baaba Maal, Malick Pathé Sow, Youssou N’dour… Issa has become one of the stellar players of this emblematic instrument of Peulh music.
Upon his arrival in Belgium, he showed a keen interest in many different musical repertoires and different types of violins. This fascination quickly earned him the friendship of a Belgian musical icon of the instrument, Wouter Vandenabeele (Ambrozijn, Olla Vogala…) with whom recording an album was only the next logical step.
A dozen violinists have joined him in the project. The result is a CD that focuses particularly on the music of Issa and the traditional repertoire of West Africa, but has a variety of instruments, artists and sounds. There are about twenty musicians, such as Malick Pathé Sow, Bao Cissokho, Oumar Ka, or Mola Sylla Abou Diouba.
Music in all its beauty, pure and rhythmically haunting.
(Peter Van Rompaey, Muziekpublique)

Issa Mbaye Diary Sow – Nianiooru
Oumar Ka, Fadel Sow, Mola Sylla, Abou Diouba – Voices
Malick Pathé Sow – Hoddu, voices
Serigne M. Gueye – Percussions
Bao Cissokho – Cora, tama
Tom Theuns – Guitar
Wouter Vandenabeele – Violin

Tania Deswelgh, Hilde De Bruyne, Silke Willekens, Lotte Remmen, Nikki Verlinden, Hester Bolle, Naomi Vercauteren, Aurélie Dorzée, Bieke Jacobus, Katrien Van Remortel, Jenna Vergeynst, Hendrike Scharmann – Violin
Marijn Thissen – Viola
Robrecht Kessels, Iris Thissen, Charlotte Vavourakis – Cello

Compositions by Issa Mbaye Diary Sow; arrangements by Wouter Vandenabeele

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