Baaba Maal was born in a fisherman family in the north of Senegal, in the city of Podor, along the Senegal river. Today he is one of the main ambassadors of West African music around the world.
Baaba studied music in Dakar and then went to live in Paris for ten years. When he came back to Senegal he formed his band Daande Lenol (which means “the people’s voice” ) with blind guitarist Mansour Seck.
Baaba’s voice is deeply rooted in the African tradition but is at the same time incredibly modern and original. Baaba has been touring the world with his band for the past three decades and has experimented with different fusions of traditional African music with latin music, pop or blues.
Baaba is also known for his personal commitment for peace and social concerns and his ambassadorship at the United Nations for Development.
In the Playing For Change album PFC 2: Songs Around The World, Baaba is one of over 150 musicians from 25 countries – Mali to Brazil – performing together on a musical journey to create a united world.
In the first single of the album, “Three Little Birds” begins the musical journey in West Africa, in the ancient village of Kirina, Mali where Baaba’s distinct vocals sing the familiar words “don’t worry about a thing, every little thing is gonna be alright.” The worldwide collaboration then continues to the streets of Los Angeles, Brazil, Jamaica and even India.
Listen to this amazing rendition of “Three Little Birds” below.