Pape Mbaye and Chosani Afrique

Pape Mbaye and Chosani Afrique


Pape Mbaye and Chosani Afrique play high energy West African mblax (a celebratory blend of African, Carribean and Latin rhythms) at its best. Pape’s traditional percussion patterns, meshed with the Western Drum kit, bass, keyboards and saxophone are energising, infectious and exhilarating.


The beaming smile of Pape Mbaye is as well loved as his wide musical talents. It’s an infectious smile that seems to go hand-in-hand with the West African rhythms that lie at the root of his music. Pape Mbaye, and his eight-piece band Chosani Afrique, bring some of the magic of West Africa to Byron Bay – a night of Latin, reggae and jazz, inspired and led by this uncontainable master percussionist.

Captivating and hypnotic, these are the sounds of a culture steeped in magic, ritual and a strong spirituality. They’re the sounds that bring people together, that celebrate, commemorate and rejoice. They’re the sounds that have sophisticated a world of music from jazz to R’n’B to pop. And they’re the sounds that Pape has made since childhood.

Pape was born into the special Griot cast, creative leaders and pioneers who are also the guardians of their culture’s oral history and artistic traditions. From 1976-1999 he was head drummer of the village of Yoff in Senegal, and was a percussionist and dancer with L'Ensemble Traditionelle Sorano, L'Orchestre Nationale du Senegal and Back to Africa.

Seven years ago he left Senegal, West Africa, to make a new home in Sydney. He brought the traditions of a great musical culture, which is now fast becoming a major part of Sydney’s own multicultural music scene. Renowned the world over, Pape has played alongside musical legends such as Miles Davis, BB King and Ringo Starr. In 2003 he released his first CD Listen! Drum Speaking, followed by a second, Yoff in 2006 and now combines performing with teaching. (He even takes adventurous music-lovers on trips back to Senegal for a first-hand experience of music and life there).

Pape plays sabar, tama, djembe, bougarabou, saorouba, congas, and timbales. He’s also a dancer, choreographer, teacher and Griot.

This year Pape’s son, Yacou Mbaye joined him here in Australia and as is the way of the Griots, he too is a drummer and dancer. Yacou plays talking drum and sabar in Chosani Afrique adding a richness and depth of sound to his father’s drumming that really does transport the audience to Africa. No visa required.

So bring along your dancing shoes, the music is infectious, you won’t be sitting still.


Listen Drum Speaking 2003
Yoff 2005

Set List

Bai Ran
Def Langai Def
My Lover
Negou Gor
Percussion Set - sabar, talking drum, congas, djembe, drum kit