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Senegalese Musician Debuts in US

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    YOUSSOU N DOUR S WORLD OF HARMONY Alona Wartofsky, Washington Post, 6/1/04 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A19419-2004Jun30.html NEW YORK - A few
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      YOUSSOU N'DOUR'S WORLD OF HARMONY
      Alona Wartofsky, Washington Post, 6/1/04
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A19419-2004Jun30.html

      NEW YORK - A few years back, Senegalese music star Youssou N'Dour
      composed a series of songs celebrating his Islamic faith. He
      originally wrote the devotional music for his family and friends to
      listen to during Ramadan but then decided to release it as an album.

      The events of Sept. 11, 2001, and their aftermath changed his mind.

      The album "started when the world was doing a little better, and I
      refused to issue it when the world was going very, very badly,"
      N'Dour says, speaking through a translator in the midtown Manhattan
      offices of Nonesuch, his U.S. record label.

      Now N'Dour believes the time is right for the world to hear the
      collection, titled "Egypt" for its U.S. release. "People have started
      to learn so many things," he says carefully. "They are starting to
      respect a little more diversity."

      Released last month, "Egypt" has been greeted with rapturous reviews.
      The album was recorded in Cairo, where N'Dour collaborated with
      bandleader Fathy Salama, fusing Senegalese and Egyptian musical
      elements. N'Dour sings in Wolof, one of many languages spoken in
      Senegal, but translations are provided, revealing that the songs
      extoll Senegal's revered Sufi saints and spiritual leaders. In the
      liner notes, N'Dour is quoted as saying that the album "praises the
      tolerance of my religion."

      For N'Dour, "Egypt" is not necessarily political. "Politics is
      something very different," he says. "It is perhaps in everything, but
      it's mostly about the interest of the politicians."

      But N'Dour has made political statements before. In the spring of
      2003, he canceled what would have been his biggest U.S. tour yet to
      protest the invasion of Iraq. "Even though I am conscious that I am
      not somebody like Bruce Springsteen in this country, it was a way of
      saying that I am against the war," he says now...

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