Sona Jobarteh is a unique and pioneering musical icon of her time whose renown has been rapidly flourishing globally. Born into a Griot family from the Gambia, a tradition that dates back 7 centuries, she is the first female within this tradition to become a professional virtuoso on the Kora. Her music is uniquely poised between the preservation of her rich cultural heritage and an accessible, modern style that relates to the current era and to audiences from all over the world. At the heart of her success as an artist is her dedication to humanitarian activism in the areas of social development and educational reform on the continent of Africa. She is the Founding Director of The Gambia Academy, an institution dedicated educational reform for Africans on the continent of Africa. – Sona Jobarteh’s official website
Sonah Jobarteh – Acoustic Guitar/ Kora/ Vocals
Maurice Brown – Acoustic Guitar
Andi McLean – Electric Bass/ BVs
Mouhamadou Sarr – Djembe/ Congas/ Calabash/ BVs
Recorded on 1 July 2015 at the “mon ami”, Weimar. Hochschule für Musik FRANZ LISZT Weimar
Sona Jobarteh performed in Weimar on invitation of the University of Music FRANZ LISZT Weimar and its UNESCO Chair of Transcultural Music Studies (TMS). The TMS Chair regularly invites artists to bring the musicology students into contact with various musical cultures for inspiration and exchange. For further information visit https://www.hfm-weimar.de/tms.
Sona Jobarteh is the first female Kora virtuoso to come from a west African Griot family. The Kora is one of the most important instruments belonging to the Manding peoples of West Africa (Gambia, Senegal, Mali, Guinea and Guinea-Bissau). It belongs exclusively to griot families, and usually only men who are born into these families have the right to take up the instrument professionally. Sona Jobarteh combines various genres of African Music and western musical elements.