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Youssou N’Dour to deliver keynote

Paris/ Bonn/ Tallinn – July 4, 2011. The organisers of the 4th IMC World Forum on Music are pleased to announce that world-renowned Senegalese singer Youssou N’Dour has accepted to share with the Forum participants his reflections on the Forum’s overall theme "Music and social change". In his keynote on Tuesday September 27th, Youssou N’Dour will address the role of culture in general and music in particular as a vehicle for building tolerance, dialogue and understanding.

Singer, percussionist, songwriter and composer, Youssou 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.

Youssou N’Dour helped to develop a particular style of popular music in Senegal, known in the Serer language as mbalax. 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.

In June 2011 Youssou N’Dour received an honorary degree from Yale University. Yale President Richard Levin saluted N’Dour for having "created Africa’s leading ensemble, performed with great artists around the world, sung about tolerance, acted with conviction, all the while remaining true to (his) own faith and culture". He also stressed N’Dour’s understanding of the power of music to liberate, heal and unite, his extraordinary sound giving "voice to hope and our common humanity".

"The IMC community feels deeply honoured to see the 2004 Laureate of the IMC-UNESCO International Music Prize backing the 4th IMC World Forum on Music. Given Youssou N’Dour’s commitment to music and its role in society, we believe that his keynote will significantly add to the overall impact of the Forum", said Silja Fischer, IMC Secretary General.

300 participants from some 70 countries and six continents are expected to gather in Tallinn; most of them fulfill an important multiplier function as they are representatives of national, regional and international networks.

Registration is open at!



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