El Maestro Laba Sosseh

Screening by Maky Madiba Sylla

With the first continental gold record in 1980, prolific singer, Laba Sosseh, became an emblematic figure of Afro-Cuban music in Africa. His career spanned more than 45 years, until his death in 2007. This documentary takes us on a journey ten years later, tracing his ever-present influence from Dakar, Senegal, to Banjul, the capital of Gambia, where Laba Sosseh was born. From the Gambia, we follow his trail to Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Cuba, and New York City, painting a portrait of the multifaceted artist's immense musical career. Along the way, we meet musicians, friends, and El Maestro’s family members who share their insight, allowing us to trace Cuban music's journey to West Africa, and Senegal in particular, to see how the music evolved. We gain a better understanding of Laba Sosseh's role in this process and the legacy he left.

The screening was followed by a talk with Maky Madiba Sylla and  Katy Lena N’diaye, and moderated by Jihan El-Tahri