Doudou N’Diaye Rose

Doudou N'Diaye Rose (1930-2015) was a legendary master drummer of Senegal, who carried with him a vast repertoire of traditional rhythms as well as his original compositions. He had a mesmerising energy - directing and conducting an ensemble fifty percussionists and eighty singers strong - and was the recognized modern master of Senegal's traditional drum, the sabar.

One of the most respected African musicians of the 20th century, Rose was born into the musical dynasty of a traditional Griot family, and began performing as a child in the 1930s. Prior to Senegalese independence, he performed with the legendary Josephine Baker, gaining tremendous popularity in Dakar from a very young age.

In 1960 he was named as the first head of the Senegalese National Ballet, and in the 1970s he recorded and toured extensively with his Doudou N’Diaye Rose Orchestra. His extraordinary career also included collaborations with such artists as Miles Davis, the Rolling Stones and Peter Gabriel, contributing to both the Passion and US albums.

In 2006, Doudou N’Diaye Rose was declared a “living human treasure” by the UN for his work in preserving and introducing the world to the traditional rhythms of his Senegalese culture.

"Doudou was an extraordinary musician and a delight to work with. He always struck me as a Yoda type of figure who's magic powers extended deep into the rhythmic arts. He would appear in various incarnations, in different family groupings, turning wonderful, complex rhythms into beautiful compositions. "My favourite Doudou moment was seeing him perched at the top of a pyramid of Senegalese drummers in his dinner jacket, as part of Jean-Paul Goude's Bicentenaire celebration along the Champs Elysees, mustering all the pride and passion that he would always deliver." Peter Gabriel

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