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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Rock Out in Dakar


3. What to Do

Even the hardest-core Putumayo fan will feel like a wannabe at Club Thiossane (pronounced cho-sahn; Sicap rue 10, 221-824-6046), the nightclub owned by Senegalese pop king Youssou N’Dour. He might well play if he's in town, or you could see world-music biggies like Baaba Maal or Cheikh Lô. The show doesn't start till after midnight. A similar vibe and audience can be found at Le Sahel (Centre Commercial Sahm; 221-821-2118), the Thiossane’s less-legendary competitor. For more experimental music, the mbalax at Sun Set Sahel (Centre Commercial Sahm) is served to a crowd of young locals whose sartorial sense is clearly more influenced by Jay-Z than N'Dour. Young mbalax musicians also get their start at Yengoulene (Nord Foire; 221-869-0710), just outside the city center.

For a mellower sound, try the Couleur Café (Carrefour Ouakam; 221-569-5260). Acoustic band Freres Guisse, already a hit in Europe, performs weekly. Expected to be Senegal's next big export, Freres Guisse plays with an instrumental and more traditional world-beat sound.

Dance at the nightclub in Le Casino du Cap-Vert (Route de Ngor; 221-820-0974). Play the tables when you get tired.

Published on Oct 25, 2006 as a web exclusive.

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