Followers of Quebecois popular music might recognize El Haji “Élage” Diouf as a sometime collaborator with the much-missed rock group Les Colocs. As half of Les Frères Diouf he (along with his brother Karim) contributed heavily to the influential Colocs album Dehors Novembre and the posthumous Suite 2116, helped create the soundtrack to the Cirque du Soleil show Delirium, and released a universally acclaimed album of their own songs. Now, this Senegalese-born singer and percussionist has struck out on his own with his Juno-award-winning debut solo album, Aksil (“Welcome”), sung mainly in his native Wolof.
Diouf’s wide-ranging love of the musics of the world is evident in his solo work: he brings Bossa Nova, country, Arabic and Celtic music together with American rock-n-soul and West African music to create his own celebratory space of his own, one that he’s eager to share with audiences nationwide. Diouf’s music calls to the feet as well as the heart; we dare you not to dance when he plays.