Omar Pène & Super Diamono ¦ Direct From Dakar

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Omar Pene (born 28th December 1955) is a Senegalese vocalist and composer, who is the lead singer of Super Diamono, and is now a solo artist.[1]


Omar Pene was born in the working-class neighborhood of Derkle in Dakar. Having been singing his whole life and playing in other bands, he formed Super Diamono in 1975–76, with previous bandmates Cheikh Diagne, Bassirou Diagne, and Bazlo Diagne, along with members of Tropical Jazz De Dakar, including singer Ismael Lo.[1] Other members of the band included Bob Sene, Aziz Seck, Lapa Diagne, Abdou Mbacke and Adama Faye, a jazz keyboardist who gave the group a harder electric sound.[1]

In Dakar during the 1980s, Super Diamono were one of the few bands who could compete with Youssou Ndour in Dakar,[1] and the two singers had a lively artistic competition, both with devoted fanbases. Fans of Pene and Super Diamono used to congregate particularly at the Balafon Club, near the Autonomous Port of Dakar. Super Diamono's music was energetic reggae and jazz influenced dance music rooted in Senegalese mbalax rhythms, which are frenetic and syncopated.[1] Their songs cover socially conscious topics such as unemployment and education, and they were described by Rough Guide: World Music as "the people's band of Dakar's proletarian suburbs".[1]

In the mid-1980s Ismael Lo left to follow a solo career and was replaced by Mamadou Marga. By 1991 most of the group's original members had left for other projects, and Pene continued the band with session musicians, touring Europe and North America four years later.[1] To date, he has released more than thirty albums and cassettes.[citation needed] Under their new name Super Diamono de Dakar , the band released their first album Géédy Dayaan in 1979 under Griot Records (Disques Griot).[2]

In August 2021, he released his first solo album Climat.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Harris, Craig. "Biography: Omar Pene". Allmusic. Retrieved 10 June 2010.
  2. ^ Mazzoleni, Florent, L'épopée de la musique africaine: One of.his most beautiful song Is laax jaay , Hors collection (2008), p. 81,ISBN 9782258076150
  3. ^ RFI (13 August 2021). "Omar Pène, la conscience écologique". Retrieved 13 August 2021.

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Veröffentlichungen von Super Diamono die im OTRS erhältlich sind/waren:

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Super Diamono was a ten-member band from Dakar, Senegal. It was formed in 1974[1] or 1975.[2][3] Omar Pene was a founding-member, and the group was alternately led by the singers Mamadou Lamine Maïga and Musa Ngum. It started with traditional West African music, but quickly turned to an Afro-Cuban and pop-influenced sound. From 1977 they called their music "Mbalax-blues".[1] In 1979, Ismaël Lô, a co-founder of the group, rejoined the band as a guitar player, but soon left again for his solo career.[4][5] According to Billboard Magazine, it was Senegal's "first truly local pop style." Many of the former members who later became solo artists made their break-through from this band.[6][7]


In 1972, Baïlo Diagne, Senegalese music manager and later manager of Super Diamono[8] was looking for a singer for his group Kadd Orchestra (or Cadd Orchestra)—which consisted of family members such as Cheikh Diange among others. By 1975, Diange's group was complete, and included members of Kadd Orchestra along with other Senegalese groups and musicians such as Omar Pene and Ismael Lô. That new group, which was principally an amalgamation of various bands—came to be known as "Super Diamono" (meaning "generation" in Wolof).[1][3][7] Bob Sene (El Hadj "Bob" Sene), a bassist, is credited as the creator of Super Diamono, which in turn showcased the charismatic singers Omar Pene and Ismael Lô, then Mamadou Maïga and Moussa Ngom.[9]

Diange's new group mostly consisted of musicians from Tropical Jazz and the Kadd Orchestra consisting mainly of Diagne's own family members. It was so family oriented that the group came to be referred to as the "Diange Ochestra" in its early years. In 1979 under a new name Super Diamono de Dakar, the group released their first album with Disques Griot (Griot Records) titled Géédy Dayaan. Critics such as Mazzoleni describe the album as "a rather tasteless mixture of rock, reggae, synthetic strings and “African percussion” influences"[1][3][7]

In the 1970s and 80s, the band was the biggest band in Senegal–touring throughout West Africa.[10][5]

After years of working together, members left the group to create their own solo careers or set-up break-off groups such as Lemzo Diamono. Officially, the band broke up in 1991 but reassembled later by Pene. Since its founding, the band and Pene in particular have addressed issues of great interest to the youth, such as unemployment, corruption and inequality.[3]

Former band members

The band has had various members over the years. Those who left were replaced by new members. The list below are some of the former members (not necessarily serving in the same year(s)).

  • Bob Sene (El Hadj "Bob" Sene), bassist and creator of Super Diamono[9]
  • Musa Ngum, the Gambian musician with a strong background in the njuup (or kassack) style of music—who was ethnically Serer like many of the band members—left the Gambia in 1981 and moved to Senegal. In Senegal, he was courted for years by the group to join the band. He finally joined the group in 1985, which at that time, Super Diamono was the biggest band in Senegal.[10] In the group, he was known for his great presence on stage and strong vocals.[7][10]
  • Mada Ba was a group member for 8 years (on vocals).[11]
  • Pape Dembel Diop, a former member of the group (on bass) resigned after 22 years. On the 40th anniversary of the group to which he did not partake in, he was asked by Leral Newspapar about the circumstances surrounding his resignation and whether he was on good terms with group leader Omar Pene. Diop refused to make any comment that would tarnish the image of the group, only saying that ethics does not allow him to say anything that could be detrimental to the Super Diamono group. He went on to say that having served the group for 22 years, he saw both good and bad, but has no desire to dwell on that separation. On the subject of his relationship with Omar Pene, Diop said: “We had differences, but we did not fight. I know him better than anyone. He knows me, but I know him too. I call him my big brother. At my age, I don't hold a grude against anyone. Only God knows the future that he has in store for me [...]"[12]
  • Omar Pene, original member and co-founder
  • Ismael Lô, one of the co-founders. He kept joining and leaving to pursue his solo career. Worked with Omar Pene for 9 years. In 1979, he rejoined the group after Bailo Diange (Super Diamono's manager) offered him guintar position and asked him to officially incorporate his training. He accepted and soon after the group went on an eight-month tour of Casamance, the southern region of Senegal.[8][3]
  • Babacar Dieng (vocals)
  • Thio Mbaye (percussion and vocals)
  • Oumar Sow (guitar)
  • Doudou Konaré (guitar)
  • Iba Ndiaye (musical keyboard)
  • Lappa Diagne (El Hadj Ousmana "Lappa" Diagne), (drums)
  • Mamadou Lamine Maïga, also known as Mamadou Maïga or just Maïga, is a highly skilled vocalist. Known for his high pitched-falsetto range. He used to alternate with Musa Ngum, another strong vocalist.[7][1]
  • Cheikh Diange
  • Abdou M' Backe
  • Amadou Baye
  • Aziz Seck
  • Baïla Diagne
  • Cheikh Sadibou Niasse
  • Ibou Konate
  • Jean Alain Hedgar
  • Lamine Faye
  • Moustapha Fall
  • Ndiaga Samb
  • Papa Basse
  • Tonia Lô

Select discography

  • 1979: Géédy Dayaan
  • 1986: Cheikh anta Diop
  • 1987: People
  • 1994: Fari
  • 1996: 20 Ans Déjà
  • 1997: Nila
  • 2001: 25 Ans


  • Bauerle. Mirella; Broughton, Simon; Ellingham, Mark; Muddyman, David; Burton, Kim; Trillo, Richard; Woltering, Monika; and Mauerle, Mirella: Rough Guide. Weltmusik. Metzler (2000) ISBN 3476015327 (German)


  1. ^ a b c d e Mazzoleni, Florent, L'épopée de la musique africaine: rythmes d'Afrique atlantique, Hors collection (2008), p. 81,ISBN 9782258076150
  2. ^ L'Autre Afrique, Actualité de l'autre Afrique newsmagazine, Issues 3-9 (2001), p.60
  3. ^ a b c d e Senegal 7, Anniversaire : Omar Pène souffle sur ses 63 bougies ce 28 décembre, by Ibrahima Ka (December 28, 2019) [1] (retrieved February 13, 2020)
  4. ^ Hardy, Phil, The Da Capo Companion to 20th-century Popular Music, Da Capo Press (1995), p. 682,ISBN 9780306806407
  5. ^ a b Appiah, Anthony, Gates, Henry Louis, Encyclopedia of Africa, Volume 1, Oxford University Press (2010), p. 562,ISBN 9780195337709 [2]
  6. ^ Billboard Magazine, May 8, 1993 Sweet sounds of Senega. Belie a troubled reality. pp. 1-2, [3] (retrieved February 14, 2020)
  7. ^ a b c d e Seck, Nago; and Clerfeuille, Sylvie; Musiciens africains des années 80: guide, L'Harmattan (1986) p. 56,ISBN 9782858027156
  8. ^ a b Jeune Afrique L'intelligent, Issues 2180-2190, Groupe Jeune Afrique (2002), p. 108
  9. ^ a b Arnaud, Gérald; Lecomte, Henri; Musiques de toutes les Afriques, Fayard (2006), p.140
  10. ^ a b c The Point (the Gambia), Gambia’s superstar musician Musa Ngum dies, by Njie Baldeh (October 12, 2015) [4]
  11. ^ Senego, Senego TV-Mada Ba à coeur ouvert parle du Super Diamono, d’Abiba, du chantage dans le milieu du show biz… by Lamine Mbaye (August 2, 2018) [5]
  12. ^ Leral.Net, Pape Dembel Diop après sa démission du Super Diamono : « Depuis quelque temps, je ne me retrouvais plus… » (May 15, 2013) [6])

External links

Omar Pène & Super Diamono ¦ Direct From Dakar
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