Senegal mourns loss of master drummer N’Diaye Rose

Senegal’s Doudou N’Diaye Rose, one of Africa’s master drummers and named a “human treasure” by the United Nations, died on Wednesday at the age of 85, a local musician said.

N’Diaye Rose has enchanted audiences from Paris to Tokyo by beating his sabar or “tamtam”, a Senegalese drum made out of cow or sheep skin originally used to communicate between villages.

Born into a family of “griot” storytellers, he has collaborated with U.S. jazz star Miles Davis and once stunned an audience on the Goree Island off the coast of the capital Dakar by leading a group of 100 drummers in unison.

“It’s one of the greatest losses to our country in terms of music and rhthms. He always encouraged me and gave me a chance,” said Senegalese Grammy Award-winning singer Youssou N’dour.

Local media did not specify the cause of death, saying only that he had suffered from an illness. (REUTERS)