Representing a cross-cultural collaboration between top-ranked, New York-based, Latin musicians and African vocalists, Africando lyrics are are sung in Yoruba, Wolof, Mandigo and French. The group's sizzling-hot dance rhythms blend classic mambo, Cuban son and mandigo traditions.
Africando was initially drawn together by producers Ibrahima Sylba and Boncana Maiga. The group's debut album, Trovodor, released in 1993, featured the vocals of West Senegalese singers Pape Seck, Medoune Diallo and Nicolas Manheim. Although Seck passed away shortly after the album's release, the band continued to grow.
By the time that they recorded their second album, Tierra Tradicional, released in 1995, the group's vocals were shared by Tabu Ley Rochereau of Zaire, Bambino Diabete of Guinea, Gnonnas Pedro of Benin and original vocalist, Diallo. Africando's third album, Gombo Salsa, released in 1997, featured a guest appearance by Roger Eugene of Tabou Combo.
Their fourth album, Balboa, released in 1998, focused on the pre-World War II, sexteto tipico music of Cuba. Musicians in Africando include Hector Zarzuela (horns), Chino and Pablo Nunezon (timbales), Dave Rimelis (fiddle), Pape Pepin (conga), Hector "Bamberiot" Zarzuela and Ite Herez (trumpets). Mandali was issued in fall 2000. ~ Craig Harris, All Music Guide