Alune Wade presents "Sultan", a music album supported by the Institut français

Jazz, and the sense of freedom it brings, is a musical democracy, where everyone can come and share their story.

To accompany the release of his new album Sultan, Alune Wade, a major figure in contemporary African jazz, toured in West Africa with the support of the Institut français. After performing at Dak'art, the Biennale of Contemporary African Art, and at the Saint Louis Jazz Festival, his tour continued in Guinea, Ivory Coast and at the Institut français of Tunisia, where everything started with a residency at the Villa Salammbô. The journey continues now in France, in Europe and in the United States.

Updated on 29/08/2022

5 min

Born in 1978 in Dakar, Alune Wade quickly followed in the footsteps of his father, who conducted the Senegalese army symphony orchestra. After having accompanied Ismaël Lo and his group for a long time, he released his first solo album, Mbolo, in 2006. The album displays his resolutely jazz style combined with many other influences: afrobeat, folk and traditional African music. With Aziz Sahmaoui, he formed the group University of Gnawa in 2010, before guesting on the album Afrodeezia by his idol Marcus Miller in 2015, and recording with the legendary Cuban pianist Harold López-Nussa. In 2018, the bassist produced his fourth album, African Fast Food, where languages, rhythms and styles intertwine. Every new recording sees him accompanied by a range of talented musicians from varied backgrounds, creating musical spaces together under his direction that are ever more uninhibited. 

Alune Wade himself declares that his latest album, Sultan, is the result of an intellectual and creative journey that began nearly ten years ago. It presents itself as an epic form of synthesis between different African regions: Arab-Andalusian rhythms, Berber melodies and Sufi chants mingle with the syncopated rhythms of Afrobeat. Alune Wade likes to surround himself with musicians from all over the world. Having accompanied the greatest names, and for a long time considered primarily as a bass virtuoso, the Senegalese musician now takes the role of songwriter. He also explores African history, evoking in his album Sultan figures such as Soundiata Keïta, the fruit of an approach that seeks to reaffirm the identity and originality of African jazz. 

Alune Wade's latest album Sultan is the result of a residency at the Villa Salammbô. It brings together a cast of nearly twenty big names in contemporary jazz. A record in the form of a journey, which takes us in the footsteps of the Queen of Sheba and the Ethiopian king Haile Selassie, and which unfolds on stage with the unmissable Adriano Tenorio DD (percussion), Cédric Ducheman (piano and keyboard), Carlos Sarduy (trumpet), Hugues Mayot (saxophone), and Daril Esso (drums). This cast, coming from very diverse backgrounds, is currently preparing for a major African tour, supported by the Institut français, which will take Alune Wade and his collaborators to the four corners of West Africa. This tour echoes the nomadic spirit that inhabits Sultan, a multicultural album that was partly recorded remotely during the Covid-19 crisis.

  • 1978


    Born in Dakar.

  • 2006


    Release of his first album, Mbolo.

  • 2015


    Alune Wade takes part in the Afrodeezia recordings, alongside Marcus Miller.

  • 2018


    African Fast Food, a fourth critically acclaimed album.

  • 2022


    Begins a tour through Africa in support of his new album Sultan.

The Institut français and the artist

Alune Wade's latest album Sultan benefited from a residency at the Institut français in Tunis

L'institut français, LAB