A member of Youssou N'Dour's Super Etoile Band since 1979, Jimi Mbaye (born Mamadou Mbaye) is one of Senegal's most influential guitarists. Often compared to Jimi Hendrix and Robert Johnson, Mbaye has forged a unique blend of traditional Senegalese roots music and American pop and R&B. Recording a solo album, Dakar Heart, with help from Super Etoile Band musicians in 1997, Mbaye showcased his inventive, kora-derived guitar playing and singing in Wolof, English, and French. Billboard called him "a prodigious world talent," while Rhythm referred to him as "one of Senegal's most exciting musicians." Music has played an ongoing role in Mbaye's life. As a youngster, he performed on a self-invented instrument made from discarded garbage cans and nylon fishing line in the streets of Dakar. By the age of 20, he had graduated to a Fender Stratocaster electric guitar. Mbaye continues to be the backbone of N'Dour's band. In addition to co-writing the 1994 single "Mame Bamba," he has made valuable contributions to six N'Dour recordings. Mbaye and N'Dour have increasingly performed as a duo. In 1998, they opened the show for Brazilian guitarist Gilberto Gil at the Olympic Theater in Paris. ~ Craig HarrisPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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