The Dogo Group

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Biography

At ten years old Jimi Mbaye (pronounced em-BY) built his first guitar out of fishing line and gasoline cans. At twenty he'd scraped up enough money to buy a used Fender Stratocaster. Mbaye was just as determined to get a guitar as he was to make it in the competitive Dakar music scene. Early on he met Youssou N'Dour and together they became rising stars on Senegal's club scene, playing mbalax music. They created the "Super Etoile" band together in 1979 and have been musically inseparable for all these years.

Mbaye recorded six top-selling major-label albums with N'Dour before taking a leave of absence to record his own solo album, released in 1997, Dakar Heart. Recorded at N'Dour's Studio Xippi, Dakar Heartfeatures N'Dour's band "Super Etoile". Mbaye is back at N'Dour's side and is very much an integral part of Youssou's "Super Etoile" band these days. In fact, Youssou often travels abroad only with Jimi as acoustic guitar accompanist, as he did in June 1998 for performances in Paris as guests of Brazilian performer Gilberto Gil at the Olympia Theatre.

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.

Mbaye transposes the African traditional sounds of khalam (or n'goni) and kora onto his electric Fender Stratocaster. Mbaye has forged a unique blend of traditional Senegalese roots music and American pop and R&B.

Carlos Santana and Mbaye met during a tour in Los Angeles where Carlos acknowledged that: "Jimi is a very special and incredible guitarist".

Mbaye has released three solo albums, "Dakar Heart", "Yaye Digalma" and "Khare Dounya". The latter was recorded in Jimi's new studio Studio Dogo, in which he produces other artists.

Beginnings

At ten years old, Mbaye built his first guitar out of fishing line and gasoline cans. At twenty he'd scraped up enough money to buy a second hand Fender Stratocaster. Mbaye was just as determined to get a guitar as he was to make it in the competitive Dakar music scene.

Early on he met Youssou N'Dour and together they became rising stars on Senegal's club scene, playing mbalax music. They created the "Super Etoile" band together in 1979 and became inseparable for over 30 years.

Super Etoile & solo projects

Mbaye recorded six top-selling major-label albums with N'Dour before taking time off to record his own solo album, released in 1997, Dakar Heart. Recorded at N'Dour's Studio Xippi, Dakar Heart features N'Dour's band "Super Etoile".

In addition to co-writing the 1994 single "Mame Bamba," he has made valuable contributions to six N'Dour recordings. Mbaye and N'Dour resume their intensive touring. In 1998, they opened the show for Brazilian guitarist Gilberto Gil at the Olympia in Paris.

He often produces musicians in Senegal from his Studio Dogo and helps young talents, such as Pape Diouf, get public exposure.

Mbaye's latest album called “Khare Dounya” was released in 2012. “Khare Dounya” means “Fight for Life”. He recorded this album with his band “Group Dogo”.


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