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Senegalese guitarist, harmonica player, and singer Ismael Lo plays strong, complex, percussion-laden mbalax songs that discuss important topics in Senegal, ranging from racism and respect to immigration. His smooth multi-textured voice and low-key folky style are a good complement to his 12-piece band. Beginning in 1979, when he joined Super Diamono de Dakar, Lo quickly established himself as a key figure in Senegalese music. He began recording as a solo artist by the mid-'80s, earning critical acclaim in France and elsewhere. He has toured the globe several times, and in 2002 the French government dubbed Lo a Knight of the Legion of Honor. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi