The Senegalese musician brings his wondrous music to Hawaii.

African groove

For Senegal troubadour Baaba Maal, an unyielding passion for music has taken him on a lifelong voyage through a myriad of cultures and musical disciplines while helping bridge the cultural gap between Africa and the West.

Baaba Maal

Where: Leeward Community College Theatre

When: 7 p.m. tomorrow

Tickets: $25 general; $20 military, seniors, students, UH faculty and staff

Call: 455-0385

Born in the riverside town of Podor, Maal developed a keen interest in the music of his region from his singer mother, while cultivating a love for popular soul and funk sounds from America.

His aptitude for melody-making was rewarded with scholarships to study music, first in Dakar, then later in Paris, where he was enrolled at the Ecole des Beaux Arts.

Though always true to his roots, Maal has never shied from non-traditional music forms. Rather, the African superstar has adopted a worldly approach to his music, forging a vibrant fusion of new and old, combining native folk, reggae, blues, pop and hip-hop. His songs are hopeful, constructive and ever-mindful of man's duty to nature and the human race.

In recent years, he has been involved in a number of efforts to improve the lives of impoverished Africans and increase awareness of HIV and AIDS across the troubled continent.

As part of his current 34-date North American tour, Maal will play several shows in Hawaii, including appearances on Maui, the Big Island and tomorrow on Oahu at the Leeward Community College Theatre.

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