^ Back to Top


  • Ndongo "Lucky" DIOP

    Lucky DIOPNdongo Bahoum Diop was born in Ziguinchor, which is the richest cultural city in Senegal, in July 1964. His nickname is Lucky. He belong to the Diola (jola) tribe, one the rare tribes where everybody is a musician! His father's position in the justice department gave him the great opportunity to learn about the dynamic music of the Toucouleur and the Wolof tribe at his early age.At the age of 10, Lucky was already performing for his classmates.

    In high school, he was among the first students to join the music band which won several competitions nationwide.

    During his last two years in high school, he collaborated with Solo Cissokho, a prominent kora player in Senegal. Lucky spiced up his compositions with sabar, bougarabou, seyrouba and djembe rhythms. As Solo’s repertoire became more diverse, they both gained more fans.

    In 1987, he moved to the capital city Dakar, and enrolled at the University Check Anta Diop of Dakar (UCAD), as an English student. Despite his busy schedule, he created the first UCAD band while pursuing his musical ambitions.

    In 1988, he joined "Les Ballets Africains" of the well-known Zinzou.

    In 1990, he attended the "Douta Seck National Conservatory of Music, Dance and Drama". For four years, he conducted extensive studies on the dances and music of the different ethnic groups in Senegal and took courses in balafon, kora, sabar and djembe.

    In 1991, he was an active member of the university's UCAD theater group, led by Ousmane Diakhate, now director of the Senegalese National Theater (Daniel Sorano).

    To refine his dance skills, he joined Le "Ballet Kouyakou", and the "African Dance Company" of Ahmed Kounta and Maissa Thioub, well-known masters of drums.

    In 1992, Lucky traveled to Italy where he shared the stage with the UCAD Theater and the "Sing-Sing Rhythm" during the new year’s celebration in Rome. Their performance was such a great success they were contracted for another show the following year.

    During the 1992-1993 school year, he taught African drumming in "Cours Sainte Marie De Hann", one of the most reputable schools in Dakar.

    In 1993, he was assigned as the leader of "The Senegalese YMCA Cultural" program. He led performances during YMCA’s sponsored events throughout the Milwaukee area.

    In 1994, he earned his degree in Traditional African Music from the "Douta Seck National Conservatory of Music, Dance and Drama" in Dakar.

    In 1994, Lucky was given the opportunity through the YMCA International Exchange Program to continue his commitment to teaching African music in the U.S.A.. He opted to settle in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he is highly involved with the community and organizations committed to youth development. He has been performing and teaching traditional west African expressions of cultural values through drums, songs and dances.

    In 1996, he performed at the Epcot Center of Disney World in Florida for five days.

    In 1996, he performed 3 tracks as part of Narada's "African Voices" CD.

    Upon his arrival in Milwaukee, Lucky wasted no time connecting with the community and youth organizations. His commitment to the wellbeing of children and the passion he exuberate for his Senegalese roots, are highly visible throughout his relationship with the following organizations:

    Boys and Girls Club, Parklawn YMCA, Carroll College, Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, Girls Scouts, International Institute of Milwaukee, Ko-Thi Dance Company, Marquette University, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Milwaukee Public schools, Nefetari Dance Company, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Alliance Francaise, Summerfest, African World Festival, Rainbow Summer and Milwaukee Public Theater.

    In 1998, lucky formed "Ajula", a youth African Drum and Dance ensemble. The word "Ajula" derives from the Diola language and it means "let's do it", "let's make it happen". With the co-sponsorship of the Milwaukee Public Theater and the Parklawn YMCA. "Ajula" became the first and the only professional youth African Drum and Dance group in Milwaukee. The performers are paid for each show and even rehearsals sometimes.

    In 2003, lucky created a new group called "Kassumai". "Kassumai" in the Diola tribe means, "May peace be with you". The troupe is Milwaukee's first professional youth troupe that plays traditional and modern African music, Afro-Jazz, Afro Hip-Hop, and World Music. "Kassumai"'s mission is to share the spirit of peace, love and unity wherever it performs.

    In 2003, Lucky released a new album titled "Kassumai Casamance" which means "Peace in Casamance".

    In 2004, Lucky started exposing his music and his troupe to other states in the USA. On March 20 2004, they did a very impressive show at "Satella Night Club" in New-York City.

    In 2006, lucky started the first African dance and drumming troupe at Malcolm X Academy High School.

    In 2007, lucky plans of taking his musical experience to the next level by working in cooperation with King Ibu, a native from Senegal. who resides in Las Vegas. Along with Ibu, Lucky will be promoting a style of music that will have a taste of several African music. It will remind to the listeners great African musicians such as: Ali Farka Toure, Youssou Ndour, Salif Keita, Baba Maal, and so on. Their first debut took place in Milwaukee on Saturday February 17th, 2007 at Timbuktu Night Club (520 E Center).

    In 2009, Lucky started a "Drum Circle For World Peace". It was the first of its kind at "Summerfest" (The worl's lragest music festival). The program started to expand to other festivals such as: Bastille Days, Mexican Fiesta, Brady Street Festival, Wisconsin State Fair and many others.

    In 2009, Lucky Diop created the Kassumai Rental and Recordring Studio in Ziguinchor, Senegal. With this idea, Lucky plans to promote and help young talented artists of that region. He plans also to open a place by the end of December 2009 where they will be able to showcase their talent. He plans also to use the same place for fundraiser events to help youth associations be financially independant.

    In 2009, Lucky made a documentary Called Rediscover Mama Africa. Part one Dakar a modern African City. In this documentary, Lucky wants to help African American students get a better idea of what the continent is all about. His goal in this documentary is to get them to be proud of being Africans. The first show of that documentary will take place at Syracuse University in New-York State the 6th of November 2009.

    In 2009, Lucky Diop had four songs played in a documentary called "Pride of a Lion". This documentary talks about the future of Sierra leone after the years of war that country faced in the past.

    Lucky also plans in December 2009 to start a group of young artists from Ziguinchor that will perform all Senegalese tribal music. This is a big project that no artist has done before in his country. And Lucky's goal is to realize it by the end of the year to show how rich Senegalese music is.

Copyright © 2012 Lucky DIOP. All rights reserved. Designed by : Saliou FALL