Click here to listen to Orchestra Baobab concert on NPR as you read this post. Trust me. It’ll make it better.

While Aminata is here, we’re trying to take as many opportunities as possible to get out and explore Dakar, as well as Senegalese culture. So when Wrenn and Jamie mentioned that Orchestra Baobab was going to be performing at the Institut Français, we were in.

When you hear “Orchestra Baobab”, think Cuban rhythms meet Wolof griot chanting and Casamance harmonies at a bar and they order a round of traditional Northern and Western African melodies. Or just think: dance-dance!-dance.

Having never been to the Institut Français, I was expecting… well, not what it actually turned out to be. It was much larger, for one thing, but also hosts a lot more events than I’d realized. Movies, concerts, poetry readings, lectures, art shows… all kinds of cool stuff. There’s a nice restaurant (we all loved what we ordered) and just behind it is the amphitheatre where Orchestra Baobab performed.

It says a lot about what’s on the forefront of my mind these days that at one point during the concert I sat back and thought, “Wow – they must have a huge generator that they use as a back-up during power cuts!”

But then I went right back to enjoying the music 🙂

More on Orchestra Baobab here.