2007 saw Yacou Mbaye step on Australian soil arriving from his hometown Senegal in West Africa. Born in Dakar and coming from a family of musicians he exhibited a flair for music and dance at a tender age. His first performance was for a crowd of 10,000 people at an impressive young age of 6 years old. He soon made a name for himself by mastering the traditional rhythms and dances. A talented dancer, percussionist, drummer and performer who is passionate about sharing the rhythms and grooves of West Africa, which are an important part of daily life and culture in Senegal.
Yacou knows fist hand the challenges of life and the power of music to calm and sooth the experiences of anxiety and stress. He is a patient and engaging teacher who strives off sharing his culture and the power of healing through music and dance. Yacou has toured throughout Australia, engaged by the Department of Education to work with young people in primary and secondary schools. He has extensive experience working with young people at risk, people from refugee backgrounds and young people in the Juvenile Justice system.
In 1997 & 2000 Yacou and his extremely talented sister Mejoure took out the highly regarded “Oscar De Vacance’ dance and percussion competition. He has become a favourite with Australian audiences, keeping alive traditional rhythms and roots, as a prominent musician and bandleader, and a creative artist using foreign sounds that evolve into high energetic authentic rhythmic music expressing life.
The creator of Sydney based African fusion band, “AfroMbollo” and a member of acclaimed Australian based bands Keyimba and Chosani Afrique, has seen Yacou perform for renowned greats such as Rokia Traore, Alpha Blondy, Angelique Kidjo, Toumani Diabate and Salif Keita. To add to his many career highlights, Yacou was one of the Artistic Directors and a founding member of the West African Festival, Rhythm & Roots. A music and cultural festival showcasing and celebrating musicians from or influenced by West African traditional music.
A long-standing commitment, passion and love for his culture has seen Yacou set up his own company, “African Vibes; Drum and Dance”. He aims to preserve and share his culture with people around the globe, and teaching rhythms and movement of West Africa to the people of Australia.
Yacou’s instruments of choice are the Sabar, Djembe, Dun Duns and Tama drums. His expression of dance uses every part of the body, from the arms and legs to the eyes. Consisting of combinations that are less weighted to the ground than other styles, and incorporates lots of hop twisting, jumping, arm swinging and high knee lifting. His dance classes are high energetic and a great form of exercise. You will find your body transforming from the soul. Yacou’s vibrant energy and radiant smile is legendary in Australia’s world music scene.
It is definitely an experience to engage and see Yacou in action. Whether it be at local community, corporate, and/or private events, schools, festivals and more. The rhythms that he beats out, his personality, his facial expressions and his passion for the drums is what make his shows and stage presence extraordinary.
Mbollo is a Senegalese Wolof word for “come together”. Yacou Mbaye’s gift as a storyteller and music maker, with all the tradition and love for community and family, results in this fabulous creative and talented group of musicians. Yacou leads AfroMobollo alongside Ugandan born MC Kween, G.
AfroMobollo was created in 2017 paying tribute to the Senegalese griot roots with a connection to the traditions and stories from Yacou’s forefather which is carried forward in this fusion of soul and groove.
The sounds of AfroMobollo brings an upbeat soulful feel that gets you dancing and engages the audience through a call-and-response nature. You are brought into the show and left feeling a part of an amazing journey of traditional dance and music.
Solo performance on the Tama drums.
AFROMBOLLO performed at African Jollof Night on 26 March 2021.