Gegò Yegó

Gegò Yegó is the name of a new music project by Cherimus, created in collaboration with the Senegalese association Ker Thiossane.

Gegò Yegó was born of an encounter between some of the most interesting and innovative artists of the Sardinian and Senegalese music scenes who, starting from their musical heritage, developed a common artistic practice open to many contemporary influences.

After the adventure of Chadal, a 2011 project that involved some of the most interesting musicians of the Sardinian music scene (Alberto Balia, Riccardo Pittau, Andrea Pisu, Matteo Scano), the national orchestra of Senegal (Alassane Cissé, Sidi Koita, Baka Cissokho, Alioune Ndiaye), and the Mauritanian blues musician Bah Moody, Cherimus returned to Dakar in  February 2019 and, thanks to a precious collaboration with the Kër Thiossane association, met young musicians from the contemporary Senegalese scene.

During this first stay, the Senegalese core of the band took shape, centering on the singer-songwriter Kalsoum and a rhythm section consisting of musicians Pape Diop, playing the sabar, and Pape Ndiaye, playing the tama. Starting from this core, Cherimus involved three Sardinian musicians in the project: the launeddas player Massimo Congiu, the organetto player Pierpaolo Vacca, and the electro-acoustic musician Francesco “Arrogalla” Medda.

In June and July 2019, Massimo Congiu and Pierpaolo Vacca, together with Gegò Yegó musical director Carlo Spiga, met the Senegalese musicians in Dakar and recorded their first album in Papis Konaté’s historic recording studio.

The name of the band (“Gegò Yegó”) was born during the rehearsals; translated into Italian from Wolof, the name of the band means: harmony, understanding (Gegò) and sharing decisions, common actions (Yegó).

The first concert of Gegò Yegó was held on June 29th, in the courtyard of Kër Thiossane in  Dakar. This was the first concert of a musical tour which would bring the group from Senegal to Sardinia in early September 2019. Arrogalla collaborated remotely with the musicians in all phases of the project, taking care of post production and playing with the group in the Sardinian section of the tour.

In parallel with this musical exchange, Derek MF Di Fabio activated an additional artistic exchange thanks to the involvement of Zeinixx, a visual artist based in Dakar who created the Gegò Yegó logo. The coordination of the project was under the care of Emiliana Sabiu. Luca Cheri (Museo Nivola), Chiara Peru (Università di Sassari), Fiammetta Caime (Cherimus), and Matteo Rubbi (Cherimus) also took active roles in the project.

Gegò Yegó was born within the Music@Work project conceived and developed by the Cherimus association. Music@Work is an international cooperation project financed by the Autonomous Region of Sardinia, with L.R. 11 April 1996, n. 19. The project leader is the University of Sassari and the partners are the Museo Nivola, Sardegna Teatro, the municipalities of Carbonia and Perdaxius, and the cultural association Kër Thiossane, the main partner of the initiative in Dakar that has dealt with research on art and new technologies since 2002.