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Xalam was founded in Senegal in 1970 but moved, in 1973, to Paris, where its distinct fusion of African percussion and jazz licks garnered it great praise. Xalam have played with many Western performers, including Dizzy Gillespie, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, and the Rolling Stones. They have since been recognized for their innovative music in both Europe, where they won an award at the 1979 Berlin Jazz Festival, and in Africa, where they toured successfully in 1975. The group fell apart after the tragic death of founding member Prosper Niang in 1989.