Published Nov 21, 2011Capping off M for Montreal's first Mundial Montreal music conference was the presentation of the Galaxie Rising Star award, which was taken home by Senegalese-Quebecker Élage Diouf. The $1,500 award was presented on Friday night (November 18) prior to the conference-ending concert by Quebecois cellist Jorane.
The Galaxie Rising Star program helps to provide opportunities for up-and-coming musicians in all genres by providing showcase opportunities, monetary awards and potential airplay on Galaxie's streaming radio channels. Diouf beat out Aline Morales, Bombolesse, Alejandra Ribera, Autorickshaw, and Roberto Lopez Project.
This year's jury was composed of Patrick Binette from Galaxie, Jacob Edgar (head of Cumbancha Records and host of PBS's Music Voyager) and Kerry Clarke of the Calgary Folk Festival.
Perhaps calling Diouf a rising star is a slight misnomer, as he has already won a Juno Award for best World Music Recording. But he remains, according to those in attendance at his smoking-hot showcase on the conference's opening night, somewhat lesser known outside of Quebec.
Within the province, Diouf has had a 15-year career. Until 2010, he was known primarily as a session musician and collaborator than as a leader. A powerful singer and drummer, he tasted success with Les Colocs, winning a SOCAN prize for co-authoring a hit song with the band in 1999. Diouf also toured with Cirque Du Soleil for many years. His first album Aksil was released last year and was hit big at this year's Junos.
Diouf just returned from this year's WOMEX conference in Europe, the key convention from which world music programming gets set up for the following summer and fall.
Mundial Montreal returns for its second edition November 12 to 18, 2012.