By RFIPalled on 22-09-2019Modified on 22-09-2019 at 13:16

The musician, traditional singer and dean of West African musicians El Hadji Samba Diabaré Samb died on Saturday, September 21 at the age of 95 years. Samba Diabare Samb was classified as a "living human treasure" by UNESCO.

On Saturday, September 21, President Macky Sall praised " an inimitable virtuoso of the lute, symbol of dignity and social bond ." Griot and historian, he told the story of Senegal on television during the 1960s. The xalam was his favorite instrument and he was one of the masters: " This instrument, which was an emblem, accompanied the epic tales in Africa. 'West, these stories that told the saga of medieval empires to the struggles for independence, through the resistance to colonial penetration " says Ibrahima Wane, professor of oral African literature at the University Cheikh-Anta-Diop (UCAD) of Dakar.

Nicknamed " baayu ndaanaan yi " (the father of artists in Wolof), he was classified "Living Human Treasure" by UNESCO in 2006 , along with several of his compatriots like Joseph Ndiaye and Doudou Ndiaye Rose. According to Ibrahima Wane , the musician Samba Diabaré Samb has marked several generations of West African artists:

" What makes his works, his stories and his songs also become building blocks of the collective memory. It is also the works that will give later in the years 1968 to 1970 the material that will make it possible to build contemporary African music, the popular music of today : Youssou N'Dour, Baaba Maal, Salif Keïta , Mory Kanté . In order to construct African works and break with this tendency to take back Afro-Cuban music or American black music, these musicians were essentially inspired by these classics of which Samba Diabaré Samb and his peers were the bearers ".

►To listen also: The portraits of La Band Passante - Youssou N'Dour, his beginnings and his family (1/5)

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