Latry Sy

Latyr Sy

Latyr Sy is a percussionist and singer from Senegal. Since arriving in Japan in 1995, he has performed on the world stage with leading Japanese artists and at official ceremonies and events, including performances for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the Emperor and Empress of Japan, the Nagano Olympics, the FIFA World Cup, and the Aichi Expo.


Latyr Sy
Latyr Sy

Latyr Sy was born on September 12, 1972, on the island of Goree, a world heritage site off the coast of Dakar in Senegal, West Africa. He began playing djembe at a young age. He soon gained recognition for his extraordinary talent as a percussionist. He made his mark initially in Senegal at official VIP ceremonies for dignitaries such as Nelson Mandela, Margret Thatcher, France François Mitterrand, and Pope John Paul II.

Immediately after arriving in Japan in 1995, he performed with Noh musician Shonosuke Okura in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Harbin, and Shanghai. In 1998, he traveled to Cuba with Ikue Asazaki to perform at a 100th Anniversary Celebration of Japanese Immigration to Cuba. In 2000, he also visited France, Germany, and Egypt for a tour organized by Hayashi music performer and percussionist Kiyohiko Semba.

Soon after performing with Mannojo Nomura (Kyogen performer) at a concert held in the Republic of Korea in 2002, Yo-yo Ma invited them to the Silk Road Festival in Washington. D.C. The event was opened by former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. He has also performed in Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, and Vietnam with renowned artists such as YAS-KAZ (Percussionist) and Kaiji Moriyama (Dancer) for performances organized by the Japanese government’s Agency for Cultural Affairs.

In Japan, he has performed onstage with big-name artists such as Takako Shirai, ORIGINAL LOVE, and Naoto Inti Raymi. In August 2019, he solidified his position as the best African percussionist in Japan after being invited to perform at an official dinner attended by the Japanese Emperor and Empress and hosted by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the TICAD IIV meeting.


National Geographic “Savage Kingdom 3” CM – Appearance / Performance / Narrator in 2019
YAMAHA Digital Piano CM 2018
YAMAHA “YAMAHA P-121 Digital Piano” CM – Appearance / Performance in 2018
2021 BIZREACH CM Latyr Sy percussion performance
BIZREACH CM Performance in 2021
ASICS CM “Run for X”Music production / vocal in 2020
2020 Daiwa House CM Latyr Sy Music production / performance / vocal
Daiwa House CM Music production / Performance / vocal in 2020
2019 TOYOTA Tsusho CM Latyr sy Appearance / Performance / Vocal
TOYOTA Tsusho Corporation CM Appearance / Performance / Vocal in 2019
2018 Taisho Pharmaceutical CM (Oguri Shun) Latyr Sy Vocal
Taisho Pharmaceutical CM – Vocal in 2018

In addition, YAMADA Denki, Honda, Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co.Ltd., Takasu Clinic, THE DAI-ICHI LIFE INSURANCE, Sapporo Breweries, Japanese Red Cross Society, HITACHI, UNIQLO, etc.


  • NHK “FIFA World Cup Russia Special” with Sadio Mane and Aliou Cisse in 2018
  • Nippon TV “ZIP!” with Naoto Inti Raymi in 2017
  • Nippon TV “ZIP!” in 2017
  • NHK Educational “Schola” with Ryuichi Sakamoto in 2013
  • TV TOKYO “Solomon no Okyu”, 2005 with Shonosuke Okura in 2005
  • BS NHK “Yume Ongakukan” with Kiyoshiro Imawano and ORIGINAL LOVE in 2004

In addition, NHK Educational “Utae recorder,” BS NHK International “Africa special issue,” B.S. Fuji “AFRICA SUNU XELOM,” TBS “News 23”, Nippon T.V. “Sekai Marumie.”



Lupin’s Daughter

Movie “Lupin’s Daughter” theme song by Sakanaction, percussion by Latyr Sy (2021)

LatyrSy appeared as George in Punk Samurai Slash Down

Punk Samurai Slash Down

Appeared as George (2018)

Latyr Sy appeared Netflix HIBANA: Spark

Hibana: Spark Netflix

Appeared (2016)

Special Ceremony

Commemorative banquet hosted by Prime Minister Abe

Prime Minister Abe giving a greeting at the commemorative banquet
Japanese Majesties the Emperor and Empress at the commemorative banquet
Latyr Sy plays an African drum (djembe) in Commemorative banquet hosted by Prime Minister Abe

Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), Government of Japan – Tokyo, 2019 Performed at a commemorative banquet hosted by Prime Minister Abe in the presence of Their Majesties, the Emperor and Empress.

Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V)

In 2013, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held the African Festa 2013 to commemorate the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V). At the opening ceremony, Latyr Sy played djembe with Takako Shirai. The ambassador for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development, the leader of the African Diplomatic Corps, and Mrs. Akie Abe, the Prime Minister’s wife, took the stage.

The 50th Anniversary of Japan – Kenya Diplomatic Relations concert

In 2013, the Embassy of Japan in Kenya held a drum concert to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Kenya’s independence and the 50th anniversary of Japan-Kenya diplomacy. Latyr Sy plays in Kenya, Djibouti, and Ethiopia with YAS-KAZ (Yasukazu Sato, percussionist).

Silk Road Festival – Washington DC

In 2002, Latyr Sy performed with Mannojo Nomura at the opening ceremony, produced by Yo-Yo Ma and attended by former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and former U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy.

Cuba 100th Anniversary of Japanese Immigrants

In 1998, Latyr Sy co-starred with Ikue Asazaki (Amami folk song singer) in Cuba. Before coming to Japan, he performed at a welcome ceremony for VIPs from around the world, including Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, President Mitterrand, President Nelson Mandela, and John Paul II (Senegal).


  • 2019 Rugby World Cup Performed in South Africa vs Namibia
  • 2018 Fuji Rock Festival with Kazunori Kumagai
  • 2017 Rock In Japan Festival with Naoto Inti Raymi
  • 2010 AFRICA CELEBRATION Produced the theme song for PUMA’s campaign at the FIFA World Cup South Africa and performed live at the event
  • 2009 RISING SUN ROCK FESTIVAL in EZO with Leyona
  • 2009 Japan Fashion Week (in Tokyo) Performed at the LIMI feu show
  • 2008 UNITED COLORS OF BENETTON “AFRICA WORKS” Directing music for the fashion show of the Fall / Winter 08/09 collection
  • 2007 Paris Fashion Week Performed at the LIMI feu show
  • 2005 Expo 2005 Aichi Japan with Kiyohiko Senba “World Folk Instrument Orchestra LEEO”
  • 2005 Fuji Rock Festival with Takako Shirai as AFRICA SUNU XELOM
  • 2004 Athens Olympic Torch Welcome Ceremony with Mannojo Nomura (Kyogen actor)
  • 2002 FIFA World Cup Japan and Korea Performed in the opening match between Senegal and France in Korea
  • 1998 Nagano Olympics with Shonosuke Okura (Otsuzumi player) and Mannojo Nomura
  • 1992 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) Performed at the opening ceremony in Senegal


Attack on Titan – Guren no Yumiya (Japanese anime) , Latyr Sy plays by African drum

Mannojo Nomura (Kyogen actor), Gigaku and Dengaku

  • 2017 Abe no Nakamaro / Tang Tang 1300th Anniversary Project-Second edition – Tang and Nakamaro Feast (Heijo Palace Remains Special Stage)
  • 2016 Yamashiro Daidengaku (special stage in front of Hatori Shrine)
  • 2015 Festival of classical performing arts (Arts Council Tokyo, Tokyo Bunka Kaikan)
  • 2013 Manyo Raku, Seoul / Shanghai Performance (Agency for Cultural Affairs / Arts Council Tokyo)
  • 2007 Engine 01 Beijing Performance (Cultural Strategy Conference)
  • 2007 Performances in 4 cities, China (Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan)
  • 2007 New Year’s Day event “Manzairaku” (Roppongi Hills)
  • 2006 – 2019 (Every year in August) Roppongigaku (Roppongi Hills Arena)
  • 2005 Shimane Raku (sponsored by Shimane Prefectural Cultural Promotion Foundation, Shimane Prefectural Civic Center)
  • 2004 Hakata Music Performance (Yomiuri Shimbun, Fukuoka)
  • 2004 Mt. Haguro / Sanraku Festival (Yamagata Prefecture)
  • 2004 Club Tourism Inauguration Festival (Tokyo National Museum)
  • 2004 Olympic Torch Welcome Ceremony (Roppongi Hills Arena)
  • 2003 Praemium Imperial in Honor of Prince Takamatsu (Meiji Jingu)
  • 2003 Nara Raku (sponsored by Nara Prefecture, Asuka Historical National Government Park Ishibutai District Asuka Wind Stage)
  • 2003 Wakasa Expo
  • 2003 Kyoto Performance
  • 2003 Tokyo Performance (Kokushikan University)
  • 2003 Mt. Haguro / Sanraku Festival (Yamagata Prefecture)
  • 2002 Niigata Performance
  • 2002 Tokyo Performing Arts Festival (Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Japan Foundation, Tokyo Forum)
  • 2002 Silk Road Festival in Washington DC (Organized by the Secretary of State Colin Powell and Aga Khan, directed by Yo-Yo Ma)
  • 2002 Shizuoka Performance
  • 2002 Seoul Performance in Korea (Government of Korea, Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism)
  • 2002 Buyo Performance in Korea (Government of Korea, Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism)
  • 2002 Dazaifu Performance
  • 2002 Mask Road Memorial Party (Akasaka Prince Hotel)
  • 2001 Nara Performance (Asuka Historical National Government Park)
  • 2001 Tokyo Performance (premiere of Gigaku, Tokyo Metropolitan Government Square)

Shonosuke Okura (Important Intangible Cultural Property General Designation Holder, Noh Musician)

  • 2005 Appeared on TV “Solomon no Ookyuu” Co-starred at Izumo Taisha, Kumano Taisha, Tenkawa Shrine, and the others. Published in Mainichi Shimbun
  • 1998 Nagano Olympics
  • 1995 Beijing Performance (Co-starring with John Ron, Attracted 36,000 spectators) Performed in Tianjin, Dalian, Harbin, Shanghai (Mainichi Shimbun)

YAS-KAZ (Yasukazu Sato, Percussionist)

  • 2017 Momoko Tani Ballet Special Performance (Senzoku Gakuen College of Music)
  • 2013 The 50th Anniversary of Japan – Kenya Diplomatic Relations in Kenya (The Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan)
  • 2013 Japanese Wadaiko (Drums), Flute Performances in Djibouti and Ethiopia (The Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan)
  • 2009 “Kuruisourou” co-starred with Kaiji Moriyama (New National Theatre)

Kaiji Moriyama (Dancer / Choreographer)

  • 2017 ISSEY MIYAKE “21_21 DESIGN SIGHT Gallery 3 Opening Reception” (Roppongi Midtown)
  • 2009 Mekong-Japan Exchange Year 2009 in Vietnam (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Saigon Opera House)

Kiyohiko Semba (Japanese drummer, Semba style Iemoto)

  • 2019 Kiyohiko Semba & Haniwa All Stars 50th Anniversary, assembled 50 master musicians Tamio Okuda, mie, Demon Kakka, Murakami Ponta, etc at Roppongi EX THEATER
  • 2003 Participated in the first album “SONIC SPEAR”
  • 2000 Tour in France, Germany and Egypt as a member of “UNIT SEMBA”

Many other live performances. Kyocera Dome Osaka, Roppongi PIT INN, Aichi Expo 2005, etc

Kazunori Kumagai (Tap dancer, chosen as one of the “100 most respected Japanese in the World” by a 2019 Japanese edition of Newsweek)

Takako Shirai (Singer-songwriter)

  • 2020 Live (Mitsui Hall in Marunouchi)
  • 2013 Live Exchange Tour (Baekje, Korea)
  • 2001 Live with Kosetsu Minami (Miyagi)
  • 2000 Live with Eigo Kawashima (Nara)

Naoto Inti Raymi (Singer-songwriter)


  • 2007 2007 tour
  • 2006 2006 tour
  • 2004 2004 tour
  • 2003 2003 tour

Other co-stars, Mamadi Keita (Djembe Master, Guinea), Kim Deok-su (Percussionist / Calligrapher / Fine Sculptor, Korea), Kang San-ae (Kang Sane, Fork Rock Singer Songwriter, Korea) , Kim Deok-su (Kim Deok-su, Samulnori Master, South Korea), Rico Rodriguez (Jamaica), Yosuke Yamashita (Jazz pianist) and so forth.


MAMA AFRICA / Leyona x FUNKIST x LatyrSy
FLYING RHYTHMS / Naoyuki Uchida (Dub Effects), Latyr Sy (Senegal Percussionist), Yoshio Kuge (Drummer)
SONIC SPEAR / Semba Sonic Spear (SSS) Latyr Sy percussion

Takako Shirai

Participated in recording as a support member.

  • 2016 “NAMIDAGAWA”
  • 2010 “Mori e ikou!”
  • 2003 “Utsukushi chikyu”
  • 2001 “Blooming Days“, “HANA
  • 1999 “LIVING


Participated in recording as a support member.

In addition, bird “Chance“, with Hagi “LOTUS LOTUS LOTUS“, Asuca Hayashi ”Rin No Kuni”, ”Hito Tsubu No Tane -Love The Earth-”, etc.