Omar Pene

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Omar Pene (born 1956 in Dakar) is a Senegalese vocalist and composer, who was the lead singer of Super Diamano, and is now a solo artist.[1]

Career[edit]

Pene was born in the working-class neighborhood of Derkle in 1956. Having been singing his whole life and playing in other bands, he formed Super Diamano in 1975–76, with previous bandmates Cheikh Diagne, Bassirou Diagne, and Bazlo Diagne, along with members of Tropical Jazz De Dakar, including singer Ismael Lo.[1] Other members of the band included Bob Sene, Aziz Seck, Lapa Diagne, Abdou Mbacke and Adama Faye, a jazz keyboardist who gave the group a harder electric sound.[1]

In Dakar during the 1980s, Super Diamano were one of the few bands who could compete with Youssou Ndour in Dakar,[1] and the two singers had a lively artistic competition, both with devoted fanbases. Fans of Pene and Super Diamano used to congregate particularly at the Balafon Club, near the Autonomous Port of Dakar. Super Diamano's music was energetic reggae and jazz influenced dance music rooted in Senegalese mbalax rhythms, which are frenetic and syncopated.[1] Their songs cover socially conscious topics such as unemployment and education, and they were described by Rough Guide: World Music as "the people's band of Dakar's proletarian suburbs".[1]

In the mid-1980s Ismael Lo left to follow a solo career and was replaced by Mamadou Marga. By 1991 most of the group’s original members had left for other projects, and Pene continued the band with session musicians, touring Europe and North America four years later.[1] To date, he has released more than thirty albums and cassettes.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Harris, Craig. "Biography: Omar Pene". Allmusic. Retrieved 10 June 2010. 

External links[edit]