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Le Zagazougou

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Biography

Formed in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire in 1990 by the sons and nephews of Mamadou Ouattara (who, having been given an accordion by a missionary, had introduced the instrument into the traditional music of Cote d’Ivoire), Le Zagazougou continued to develop the role of the accordion within the music of their country. They created a brand of fast-paced, acoustic roots pop which also featured vocals and massed percussion. Led by Ouattara’s son Bakary, a.k.a. Abou Ouatt, and featuring up to 15 instrumentalists and singers, they soon became the most popular roots-based group in Abidjan. Their debut cassette for the local market outsold more commercial African and Anglo-American releases on its release in 1992 to become the Cote d’Ivoire’s bestseller of that year. This was something of a coup for traditional-based music, hence the title of their debut international release Zagazougou Coup, which featured tracks from that initial release alongside material recorded in Abidjan a year later.
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