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The kora musician Noumoucounda Cissoko and the singer Aida Samb will play in Spain this summer after winning Casa África's Dakar Vis a Vis


The musician Noumoucounda Cissoko and singer Aida Samb were the winners of the Vis a Vis  meeting of Casa África held this year in Senegal, allowing them to play next July in Spanish music festivals participating in this project of public diplomacy aimed at fostering greater awareness of African music in Spain.

The Vis a Vis closed in Dakar on Saturday night with a concert attended by over a thousand people in the Douta Seck Cultural Centre. For three days, a group composed of a dozen representatives of Spanish music festivals could see live a total of twelve bands selected from more than 140 groups submitted to the call made in Senegal.

In Dakar the Vis a Vis had the support from the Ministry of Culture of Senegal, the Embassy of Spain in the country and Dakar Culture. The production was produced by Doctor Zhivago and Etnik Group, and the musician and godfather of this edition, the Senegalese Sidy Samb.

With a great mastery of the kora, a traditional West African instrument, Noumouconda Cissoko surprised all the programmers with an electrifying live performance where the sound of this 21 string instrument and African percussions embraced with no problems and with a lot of energy the rhythms and sounds from around the world.

The singer Aida Samb, meanwhile, showed not only to have a great voice, trained after years of experience as a chorister of several of the big singers in Senegalese music such as Youssou N'Dour, but a great stage presence and a high voltage group to give the Senegalese mbalax a new round which is more than appealing to international audiences.

In this year's edition they have participated in festivals in the La Mar de Músicas (Murcia), Pirineos Sur (Huesca), Etnosur (Jaén), Al Rumbo (Chipiona), Cultura Inquieta (Madrid), Imagina Funk (Jaén), Sierra Norte (Sevilla), Canarias Jazz&Mas Heineken (Gran Canaria), Mumes (Tenerife) and Fuerteventura en Música.

The Vis a Vis allows, through cultural diplomacy, greater knowledge of the music of Africa to be promoted in Spain and the consolidation of a music industry in the countries in which it is held. The meeting also allows African groups to have direct contact with Spanish professionals, who provide advice and may help in the steps to take to facilitate the internationalisation of African musicians.

This edition of the Dakar Vis a Vis has been sponsored by the  Society of Authors and Publishers of Spain (SGAE), which supports Spanish music festivals in the search and promotion of African musicians, and the company Binter, the airline linking the Canary Islands with a dozen African destinations. Binter has three weekly connections between Dakar and the Canary Islands, as well as connections between the Canary Islands and Morocco (Casablanca, Marrakech, Agadir and El Aaiun), Mauritania (Nouakchott), Gambia (Banjul) and Cape Verde (Praia and Sal).