Death of Rudy Gomis of the Baobab Orchestra – RFI Musique





Rudy Gomis at a Baobab Orchestra concert in New York in April 2004.

© Hiroyuki Ito/Getty Images

In Senegal, the Baobab Orchestra announced this Wednesday, April 27, the disappearance of Rudy Gomis. The singer died at the age of 76 after a long illness, where he was born, in Casamance, in the south of the country.

Rudy Gomis is one of the founding members of the Baobab, a mythical orchestra founded more than 50 years ago that still plays with the support of many young musicians. His disappearance last night, two years after that of the timbalero Balla Sidibé, once again plunges the group into sadness.

“The raspy, sparkling voice. Melodic, that’s the voice I love”. Rudy Gomis made his particular stamp resonate, unique, as in the Afro-Cuban title the fire for more than 50 years. Dean, a founding member of the Baobab, his disappearance leaves a void again, explains Thierno Kouyaté, saxophonist of the orchestra and spokesman for the orchestra: “He was a great singer, he has his mark on the group. He wrote a lot of beautiful lyrics. We will continue to play Rudy’s works. But really, it’s a big loss.” Rudy Gomis, Rudolphe Gomis with marital status, leaves indeed many original songs like cumbia, Aunt Maryetc.

At the end of July 2020, as a bad omen, with already fragile health, the singer escaped from the funeral of his immense friend-musician Balla Sidibé: “I’m next on the list”. If the Baobab is still alive today it is also because these elders passed on their knowledge to the young musicians, in particular the guitarist René Sowatche who played on stage and participated in the recording of the latest Baobab album. Tribute to Ndiouga Dieng. “He is a legend in decline. He really brought something special to the Baobab Orchestra, to us, to African music in general. His smile was always there despite the rigor, he sought to share. His dream was to tour with us. , with young people, to find that mix between the father and the children”.

In March 2021, at the request of Senegalese rapper Didier Awadi, Rudy Gomis agreed to go on stage with young musicians, to play one of his hits with them, gataj, and also to tell his story, in particular to evoke his sense of harmony: “The melody is a matter of feeling, of the heart. To have a good melody I think you have to be someone who loves people, humble, you have to know how to forgive. Music for me is just love. ”

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