Senegal meets Spain in Afroflamenco from
Sidy Samb is an acclaimed Senegalese musician who has made his home in Spain for decades. A founding member of the celebrated flamenco-fusion hitmakers Mártires del Compás, Samb's latest solo project is a manifestation of his unique Afroflamenco sound, re-connecting flamenco to its African roots while exploring the subtle connections and unique divergences between the iconic sounds of his two homelands. Afroflamenco draws on griot tradition and Roma virtuosity to create a music-fueled, cross- cultural encounter. With lyrics sung in Wolof, Lingala, Bambara, Pulaar, French, English and Spanish, Dem Dikk is a simmering polyglot of languages, rhythms and ideas, brimming over with passionate performances at the intersection of African and Iberian traditions.
With a solid fan base in Spain and Senegal and growing recognition throughout Africa, Sidy Samb has the foundation and momentum to open new doors in the international arena. He has already participated in festivals like WOMAD, Etnosur, La Mar de Músicas, BAM, Getxo International Jazz Festival, MIDEM, Africa Vive, and festivals throughout Senegal.
Sidy Samb is represented exclusively by U.S.-based New African Production and is preparing for his upcoming 2023 North American tour. For booking, contact Birane Sarr at New African production
Born in Senegal to a Gewel griot family, singer and percussionist Sidy Samb is the son of Daro Mbaye, one of the first women singers in the popular mbalax genre and from whom he learned the foundations of technique and composition. On a visit to Seville, Spain for the 1992 World Expo, he discovered a passion for flamenco music and decided to make his home there. He quickly found his way into the music scene and became a founding member of Mártires del Compás (Martyrs of the Compass), a seminal “nuevo flamenco” band, that same year. He has recorded three CDs with Mártires del Compás: Flamenco Billy (1995), Prohibido Da el Cante (1996), and Al Compás de la Llaga Dolorida (1998). Samb has collaborated with Spanish pop stars such as Ana Belén, Victor Manuel, Kiko Veneno and Raimundo Amador, among many others.
In 2004, Sidy recorded his first solo album, La Sombra del Duende. Featuring all original material, he called the project Gewel and invited the participation of a select group of legendary musicians: Raimundo Amador, Diego Amador, Pepe Bao, Joaquín Megallón, Alex Icot, Valentín Ponce, Álvaro Gandul and Pape Ndiaye. The instrumentation included kora, balafon and sabar drums as well as Spanish guitar and cajón, electric guitar, bass, keys and drums. With lyrics in Wolof, Mandinga, Spanish and French, that music was a rich exploration of flamenco, jazz, reggae, and various Senegalese styles.
Following that project, Sidy formed a new band, this time with his compatriots, returning to Senegal and offering the kind of “pure and hard mbalax” that was in high demand. “I felt like an ambassador of African music in Europe, because in everything I did, I brought my African touch. But at some point, I thought it was time to return to the source,” he says. He recorded several albums for the Senegalese market. Askanwi (2004) was, as Sidy calls it, “a business card”, a foot in the door of Senegal’s pop music industry. Produced by Youssou N'dour, the album came from Sidy’s participation in N'dour’s 4.4.44 project celebrating Senegal’s 44th anniversary of independence back in April 4, 1960. Three other albums fol- lowed: Morena (2005, featuring Youssou N'dour on the song “Daan San Doolé”); Gnun Gnep Thilen (2006); and Women (2009), the last of which was re-released in 2012 for the international market.
Sidy identifies not as a Senegalese musician but as "a Senegalese who makes music." His career has been shaped by his restless urge to explore new sounds. In 2014 he recorded another concept album, Sunu (Return to Our Origins), on the Aztec Musique label. For this project, Sidy enlisted the brilliant Ivorian guitarist Mao Otayeck, pillar of Alpha Blondy’s band Solar System, as co-director. At its very core a pan-African album, Sidy describes Sunu as a “trip to Africa,” incorporating instruments and musical elements from Senegal, Guinea, Mali and the Democratic Republic of Congo. More importantly, he composed the music on site in the DNC. “I don’t want to stay in Senegal and sing a song in Lingala without going to the DNC,” he explains. The songs on the album carry messages about peace, love, unity and other issues of concern to Africans across the continent. In 2015, a follow-up album, Adayi, was released on Youssou N'dour’s Prince Arts label. Sidy’s most recent Album, Dem Dikk Afroflamenco was released in July of 2022 and is currently available on all digital platforms with distribution by Warner Music Spain. He is currently on tour in Europe with stops at Spain’s prestigious Alcalá de Guadaira and