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Country Gambia UK Genres roots traditional Website Festival Sauti za Busara 2014 Recordings
Sona Jobarteh is the first female kora player to come from a Griot family, as well as a vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and composer from the Gambia and the UK. She was born in 1983 into one of the five principal Kora-playing Griot families from West Africa. She is the granddaughter of the Master Griot of his generation, Amadu Bansang Jobarteh, and cousin of the well-known, celebrated Kora player Toumani Diabate and she is also the sister of the renowned Diaspora Kora player Tunde Jegede.
She has studied the Kora since the age of three, and gave her first performance at London's Jazz Café when she was four years old. She attended 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, and other collaborative works including performances with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, Milton Keynes City Orchestra and the Viva Chamber Orchestra.
As a performing musician she has collaborated with musicians from around the world, and is a regular member of the African Classical Music Ensemble, which has toured England, Ireland, Africa and parts of the Caribbean. Jobarteh divides her time as a performer and teacher of the kora, sharing its repertoire and history with a new generation of people interested in learning about this most exquisite instrument.With thanks to the Arts Council England and the British Council