Amadou Diagne & Group Yakar


Amadou Diagne is a musician who has the traditions of West Africa at his fingertips. Amadou comes from a Griot family line of percussionists and praise singers from the area around Dakar in Senegal. His talent as a percussionist led to him becoming for many years a professional full time member of l’Orchestre National du Senegal. He performed regularly with some of the top west African stars for concerts and television and was a busy session musician on the Dakar music scene.

Though Amadou Diagne draws heavily on the traditional music and rhythms of West Africa, since moving to England he has been busy forging his own musical identity as a singer, songwriter, and multi instrumentalist. Amadou writes and performs most of his songs in Wolof the most widely spoken language in Senegal, with some French and English in the mix. As a guitarist he has developed a unique and intricate guitar style to accompany himself which draws on his skills as a percussionist. Amadou has a love of improvisation and an eclectic musical inspiration when playing, exploring the instrument delighting in the rhythmic possibilities within the melodies he composes.

Amadou’s music has attracted global airplay on radio stations from Australia to Israel, Denmark and the USA as well as on BBC Radio 3 Late Junction, BBC Focus on Africa TV/Radio and BBC World Service Radio. “Honey-smoked vocals …Plaintive, acoustic and brimming with an unhurried assurance.” Jamie Renton, fROOTS Magazine no.361, July 2013

In 2012 he was signed by World Music Network, and his debut solo album Introducing Amadou Diagne was released in February 2012. It went straight to no.16 in the European World Music charts. His follow up Yakar (produced by Griselda Sanderson was released on the Waulk Records label in May 2013. The album Yakar recieved a four star review in Songlines Magazine, and top pick playlist review in Folk Roots as well as the inclusion of a track in fRoots’s special compilation CD and download.

In 2015 Amadou released his third album Ligéey on the Long Tale Recordings label. Ligéey is produced by Mark Smulian who also plays bass and oud. With Group Yakar, they are playing gigs around the UK in 2015-2016. Ligeéy received a 4 star review in the Financial Times and Songlines praised Amadou’s talents as a multi-instrumentalist: ‘Drums, Guitar, Kora, whistling…this guy does it all’.