Viva Africando


¡Viva Africando! ¡Viva! (2013)

Africando’s 8th (and last) studio album, this is the first not recorded primarily in New York. This time the Africando masterminds, producer Ibrahima Sylla and arranger Boncana Maïga, bring New York’s top Latin musicians – led by pianist Oscar Hernandez – to Paris. There they reunite with the group’s vocal stars, Medoune Diallo, Sékouba Bambino, Amadou Ballaké and Shoubou, along with distinguished guest singers from diverse African and American countries, singing, all told, in 10 different languages.

But whatever the language, with Africando it’s always classic big-band salsa – salsa dura – the hottest Afro-Latin style. That dedication to a golden sound is brought home in the album finale, a tribute to Africando by the great contemporary American champions of classic salsa, the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, featuring Ray de la Paz.

Viva Africando – Tracks

  1. Deni Sabali – 4’13” – Amadou Ballaké
  2. Xalass Xalass – 4’43” – Bassirou Sarr
  3. Doundari – 4’14” – Sékouba Bambino
  4. Xam Sa Bop – 4’59” – James Gadiaga
  5. Es Para Ti Gnonnas – 4’08” – Jos Spinto
  6. En Vacances – 5’11” – Shoubou
  7. Maria Mboka – 4’10” – Lokombe
  8. Ma Won Mio – 5’13” – Jos Spinto
  9. Yen Djiguengny – 6’09” – Pascal Dieng
  10. Noche con Santana – 7’55” – Rene Cabral with Eddie Zervigon (flute)
  11. Destino – 5’24” – Raymond Fernandes
  12. Bouré Yayé Diama – 5’11” – Medoune Diallo
  13. Africa Es ‘Tribute to Africando’ – 5’43” – Ray De La Paz and performed by the Spanish Harlem Orchestra


  • Amadou Ballake: a pioneer of modern music in Burkina Faso, back for his fourth album with Africando
  • Bassirou Sarr: from one of Senegal’s most popular current groups, Dieuf-Dieul
  • Sékouba Bambino: Guinea’s biggest star since his youth in Bembeya Jazz National, joined Africando in 1996
  • James Gadiaga: from Senegal and the long-established Royal Band de Thiès
  • Jos Spinto: celebrating his first decade in Africando and an even longer career at home in Benin
  • Shoubou: aka Roger Eugène, a patriarch of the pre-eminent Haitian band, Tabou Combo
  • Lokombe: was in one of the hottest Congolese bands of the high ‘70s, les Grands Maquisards
  • Pascal Dieng: on his second album and therefore a relative newcomer, on loan from Super Cayor de Dakar
  • Rene Cabral: first album for Africando but has led the Cape Verde Show for over three decades
  • Raymond Fernandes: born in Dakar of Cape Verdean origin and has sadly died before his track could be released
  • Medoune Diallo: a veteran from Senegal and a charter member of Africando
  • Ray De La Paz: lead singer of the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, the strongest champions of classic salsa

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