Xalam was founded in 1969 by Prosper Niang and his brother Magay. Taking their namne from a Senegalese stringed instrument (something like a Wolof lute) they started by playing salsa and Afro-cuban rhythms. In 1975 they toured Africa with Hugh Masekela and Miriam Makeba. They first visited Europe in 1979 where they won a major award at the Berlin Jazz Festival.
Xalam continued touring throughout the world and were even featured in a Disney film about African music. In 1984 they were hired to record percussion trakes for the Rolling Stones album Undercover. Since then Xalam continue to excite audiences everywhere with their particular fusion of jazz and African music.