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MUSICIAN Born:

Sekou Kouyate

“Sabaru” is the new album by the multi-award winning Guinean Kora virtuoso, singer and composer, Sekou Kouyate, who invented the electrified kora at the amazing age of 12 - and went on to pioneer the sound with Wa Wa pedals, fast riffs, experimental distortions and rock and jazz- influenced playing” Sekou Kouyate is considered among the world’s finest Kora players. The album SABARU, meaning patience, sums up Sekou´s musical history. Rooted in his West African traditions and influenced by the contemporary Blues, Soul, Funk and Jazz, that has also been his early inspirations, Sekou´s sound, mode of playing and the invention of the electric Kora, has inspired a whole new generation of Kora players

Sona Jobarteh

Sona Jobarteh is the first female Kora virtuoso from a prestigious West African Griot family, coming from a long line of hereditary musicians. She is the granddaughter of the master Griot Amadu Bansang Jobarteh and cousin to the celebrated Kora maestro Toumani Diabaté. As a multi- instrumentalist, singer, composer and producer Sona works with musicians from around the world. In her teenage years Sona attended Sona Jobarteh the Royal College of Music where she studied cello, piano and harpsichord, and soon after went onto the Purcell School of Music to study composition. During this time she was involved in working on several orchestral projects including the ‘River of Sound’ with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, featuring Evelyn Glennie, and other collaborative works including performances with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, Milton Keynes City Orchestra and the Viva Chamber Orchestra. As a versatile artist Sona has collaborated as a singer, guitarist and Kora player with highly-respected musicians such as Cleveland Watkiss, Oumou Sangaré, Kasse Mady Diabaté, Toumani Diabaté, Sambou Suso, Juldeh Camara, and Damon Albarn

MUSICIAN Born:

Ballaké Sissoko

Ten fingers for twenty-one strings, and magic takes place, surely, calmly. Ballaké Sissoko enlaces us in his suave and crystalline sonority and his kora, magnified by his talent as a melodist and an improviser. Ballaké Sissoko is the son of Djelimady Sissoko, a great master of the Manding Kora, a twenty-one-stringed harp whose crystalline sound has conquered the international public. Ballaké is one of the best Kora players of the new generation. He started learning the instrument at a very young age with his father. Having played with the prestigious Ensemble Instrumental du Mali and accompanied many female Malian singers, he earned his reputation by performing solo, in a duo with Toumani Diabate, with Taj Mahal, and with a number of other musicians, since 2009 with Vincent Segal on the album “Chamber Music” and the new one “Musique de Nuit” both released on No-Format label. Open to all adventures and encounters Ballaké is an over-talented instrumentalist who, drawing on tradition for inspiration, has forged his own personal style

MUSICIAN Born:

Kane Mathis

Performing on the 21-string Mandinka Harp and the Turkish Oud, Kane Mathis renders compelling interpretations of these traditional musics. Years of study with generous masters have given Kane a rare opportunity to share these traditions with other cultures. Kane began taking trips to The Gambia, West Africa in 1997 and has continued rigorous study of the Mandinka Kora. Over the past ten years his performances have earned him recognition by the Gambian president, The Gambian minister of culture, and both national television and radio of The Gambia. Kane’s primary kora teachers are Malamini Jobarteh of Brikama, The Gambia and Moriba Kouyate of The Gambia. The Jobarteh family remain one of The Gambia’s most important musical legacies


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