Daby Baldé & his band
@ Pizza On The Park
11 August 2006
Click an image to enlarge.
Moutarou ‘Daby’ Balde’s decision to pursue music was met with numerous objections from his family, but his determination would not falter. After attending the Koranic School in Kolda (his birthplace) he went into exile. Balde would spend six months in Guinea and six years in Gambia. He would use this time to explore music further, and learn the guitar.
In 1984 Balde returned to his hometown and continued his quest to pursue music by joining the Kolda Regional Orchestra as lead vocalist. Several successful concerts and festivals followed, including the Flanders Ethno festival and Draunter festival in Belgiam.
Daby Balde currently resides in a suburb of Dakar. He continues to perform at festivals across the globe, as well as local venues and cultural events. Though his popularity undoubtedly grows after each stage performance, he is still known as one of Senegal’s best-kept musical secrets.
The careful arrangement of the many colourful, non-standard musical instruments on the stage prior to the appearance of musicians seemed to hint at what was to come...
Daby Balde’s experience of life is clearly expressed in his music. Singing in Wolof, Mandinka, French and Fula, Balde’s messages of love, peace and togetherness resonate naturally. His presence on the intimate Pizza On The Park stage alone seemed to lift spirits.
Though much of what I heard was new to me, each composition was an open invitation to listen, explore, and observe. You could not help but become involved in the intricate rhythms and stories cleverly woven onto a unique Daby Balde fabric.
From the start Balde’s audience twitched in their chairs, but in true British tradition they remained seated throughout his first forty minute set. Midway through his second set, sitting down was no longer a viable option.
Judging by the many smiles and frenzied dance moves, Senegal’s best-kept secret may not remain a secret for too long!
© Michael Valentine Studio Ltd.