- function: senior producer
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- WOMEX 2015
- WOMEX 2008
Born in Nigeria, Florence Rome founded New York's Great African Ball in 1999 as a showcase for Senegal's Youssou Ndour and his Super Etoile band to share some of the musical ethos of their hometown - Dakar - with the city's growing African immigrant communities. This marathon dance party, now produced annually in both New York and Paris, features the kind of unhinged performances typical of the surreal Dakar nightclubs, and Ndour's African immigrant fans become, for one night in each city, his co-stars. The New York Times has said "New York doesn't get any closer to Africa than at Youssou Ndour's annual Great African Ball....Ndour has thoughtfully internationalized his music through the years, but these concerts celebrate how close he remains to home." The Paris Ball attracts better than 12,000 revelers each year at the Palais Omnisports at Bercy. For the 2005 edition of the New York Ball, Rome and Ndour invited King Sunny Ade to host the event in Ndour's stead, for what many have called the most memorable of Ade's U.S. appearances.
Florence Rome is a beloved figure on New York's music scene and, in addition to Youssou Ndour and King Sunny Ade, has worked with many other great talents on jazz and world music concert stages around the globe.