Did Sona Jobarteh have a choice? Not really. Anyone who grows up in one of the most famous griot dynasties in West Africa, surrounded by musical grand masters, is unlikely to ponder their own vocation. At any rate, it must be a vocation: Sona Jobarteh, born in London in 1983 and originally from The Gambia, learned to play the kora, the 21-sided bridge harp that is an indispensable part of the griot tradition, as a very young child. It is quite unusual that her childlike passion would lead her to the great festival stages of the world - women tend not to succeed on this instrument. Perhaps that's why she initially studied cello, piano and harpsichord at the Royal College of Music before going on to study cultural studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies. That's how she got back to her roots. What is special about Sona Jobarteh is that European and African musical forms are equally inspiring for her. Even more revolutionary, however, is the fact that as a woman she combines the roles of preserver of a society-shaping culture and political activist. And in doing so, she sets impulses for a younger generation. In the meantime, the virtuoso instrumentalist and singer is considered "the voice of The Gambia.
At a glance
Start: Friday, June 30, 2023, 19:00
Location: BUGA 2023 main stage, Germany
Seating: partially seated
Sona Jobarteh : voc, kora
Sidiki Jobarteh : balafon
Eric Appapoulay : guit, voc
Mamadou Sarr : perc, voc
Andi McLean : bass, voc
Yuval Wetzler : dr, voc
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