Africando is a musical project formed in 1992 to unite New York-based salsa musicians with Senegalese vocalists. Musicians from other African countries were later included under the name Africando All Stars.
Salsa has been a hugely popular style in Central and West Africa since the 1940s-1950s, and the goal of Africando was to merge salsa rhythms from both sides of the Atlantic, mainly based on the African salsa tradition.
The first two albums were a big success in Africa and in the World Music scene. Singer Pape Seck died in 1995, and was replaced by Gnonnas Pedro from Benin (who died August 2005) and Ronnie Baró of Orquestra Broadway.
For the album Martina (2003) the group name reverted to the name Africando. The singers on this tribute to mothers, sisters, wives and girlfriends include Ismaël Lôfrom Senegal, and Nyboma and King Kester Emeneya performing Papa Wemba's song "La Référence".
Gnonnas Pedro's last recording is the title track of Ketukuba (2006) – he died before the CD was released. The same fate befell Alfredo Rodriguez who arranged 3 tracks on the album. With the emphasis on the links between Cuba and Africa, Ketukuba includes a Latinized version of Franco's "Mario", sung by Madilu System, and Joe King singing "Nina Nina", previously made famous by the Fania All Stars.
In 1998, the group covered Aïcha, primarily recorded by Khaled.