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Sona Jobarteh and Taj Mahal

Sona Jobarteh and Taj Mahal
Sona Jobarteh and Taj Mahal photo
March 09, 2024 | 8:00 PM
  • Starting at: $60.00
  • Venue: Koerner Hall
  • Series: Global Music
  • Genre: African, World
  • Presenter: The Royal Conservatory

With her shimmering 21-string kora melodies and distinctive voice, Sona Jobarteh is “a griot for a new generation of West Africans” (BBC). Breaking from a seven-century-old tradition that reserved the instrument for males of a hereditary musical family, Jobarteh is not only the very first female kora virtuoso, but also a deft innovator who “blends traditional music, blues, and Afropop to impressive effect” (The Guardian). Along with selling out venues like the Barbican in London and La Seine Musicale in Paris, she is also a leading activist for social change and education reform in Africa, delivering potent speeches to the UN, the WTO, and UNICEF, and founding The Gambia Academy.

“A master of blues and folk styles on guitar, banjo, and harmonica, and a commanding singer with a raw, immediately recognizable baritone” (The New York Times), Grammy Award-winning multi-instrumentalist Taj Mahal is a legendary figure in the blues and roots music. A brilliant artist with a musicologist’s mind, he is a hero to rock-and-roll icons such as Eric Clapton and the Rolling Stones, who has collaborated with Sona Jobarteh, Toumani Diabaté, and Keb' Mo', among many others. “The blues is bigger than most people think,” he says. “You could hear Mozart play the blues. It might be more like a lament. It might be more melancholy. But I’m going to tell you: the blues is in there.”

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