Senegalese musician Cheikh Lo grew up listening to the sounds of Congolese Rumba and Cuba, his older brothers trading popular music and fueling his interest in becoming a musician himself, his first direction angled in on percussion. At the age of twenty-one, he started playing with Orchestra Volta Jazz in Bobo Dioulasso, playing African standards. In the 70’s, Cheikh Lo moved to Dakar and joined up on drums with the progressive musician, Ouza and eventually transitioned to France where he became a studio/session drummer. His sessions lead to the discovery of his own unique and storied vocal style and thus, his own musical ventures were born. Cheikh Lo formed his own band and instantaneously won enthusiastic reviews, The Guardian remarking on Cheikh Lo as “a compelling performer with energy and personality to match that of the early Bob Marley.”
After a five year hiatus Cheikh Lo is releasing his newest, Jamm, which World Circuit calls “his most distinctive and personal album since his groundbreaking, Youssou N’Dour-produced debut Ne la Thiass in 1996…[his] signature blend of semi-acoustic flavours — West and Central African, funk, Cuban, flamenco — has been distilled into his most mature, focused, yet diverse statement to date.” Check out a recent live clip (posted above) of “Sankara”, a song from the new album, performed by Cheikh Lo on Later With Jools Holland.