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Keynote Speakers

Youssou N'Dour (Senegal)

Singer, percussionist and occasional actor. Youssou N'Dour is one of the most celebrated African musicians in history. He helped develop a style of popular music in Senegal,  known in the Serer language as mbalax. A renowned singer, songwriter, and composer, Youssou's mix of mbalax with eclectic influences ranging from Cuban samba to hip hop, jazz, and soul has won him an international fan base of millions.

N'Dour has associated himself with several social and political issues. In 1985, he organized a concert for the release of Nelson Mandela. He was a featured performer in the 1988 worldwide Amnesty International Human Rights Now! Tour. He has also worked with the United Nations and UNICEF and he started Project Joko to open internet cafés in Africa and to connect Senegalese communities around the world.


Joe Lamond (USA)

Music has always been the focal point of Joe Lamond’s life. After graduating from The State University of New York, Lamond worked in music retail stores by day and pursued his rock star dreams at night. Starting in 1982 as a bookkeeper for a small, independent retailer in Sacramento, Calif., he then moved to Skip’s Music in 1989, where he started in the warehouse. Armed with passion, drive and a natural ability for marketing, he ultimately rose to the position of executive vice president, overseeing the $12 million corporation. Those years of retail experience were critically important in shaping Lamond’s views about the industry, specifically, the important relationship between supplier and dealer. read more


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