Les Ambassadeurs were skilled precursors of the Worldbeat sound, and they're still going strong today. Mingling gorgeous African guitar with Cuban-flavored horn charts and strong Rhumba rhythms, the group formed in Mali in 1970 as the Rail Band. Their combination of musical influences from Zaire, Mali, and Cuba into a dance-ready stew made them one of the most popular bands-in-residence at Mali's Buffet Hotel de la Gare. Many stars made their way through the band's ranks before going on to solo stardom, including Salif Keita, More Kante, and Kante Mafila. The band is so popular that they receive financial assistance from the state to this day.