Africando Biography (Wikipedia)
Africando is a musical project formed in 1992 to unite New York-based salsa musicians with Senegalese vocalists. Musicians from other African countries were later included under the name Africando All Stars.
Salsa has been a hugely popular style in Central and West Africa since the 1940s-1950s, and the goal of Africando was to merge salsa rhythms from both sides of the Atlantic, mainly based on the African salsa tradition.
Africando was initiated by producer Ibrahim Sylla from Côte d'Ivoire and Malian arranger Boncana Maiga of Fania All Stars. Some of the musicians initially involved were: Ronnie Baro (of Orquesta Broadway) Pape Seck (ex member of Star Band), Nicholas Menheim (associate of Youssou N'Dour), and Medoune Diallo (formerly with Orchestre Baobab).
The first two albums were a big success in Africa and in the World Music scene. Singer Pape Seck died in 1995, and was replaced by Gnonnas Pedro from Benin (who died August 2005) and Ronnie Baró of Orquestra Broadway.
For the album Mandali (2000), well known African musicians, such as Tabu Ley Rochereau, Koffi Olomide, Salif Keita, Sekouba Bambino, Amadou Balaké and Thione Seck were invited. This new constellation led to the new name Africando All Stars. Whilst in the beginning, the songs were Latin American classics sung in wolof language or a mix of wolof and Spanish, newer songs were African popular music classics, redone with Latin rhythms and instrumentation. With both approaches, Africando has been equally successful.