Kora Virtuoso | Singer | Composer | Educator | Activist
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.
2019 Hollywood Bowl. Sona Jobarteh
Headliner at major festivals around the world from Asia, to Europe, to the Americas. As part of 52 performances in 2019 her US tours included performances at the renowned Hollywood Bowl in California and Symphony Space in New York City .
Sona Jobarteh's pioneering academy that she founded and runs in The Gambia demonstrates the need for educational reform for young Africans.
Sona Jobarteh wrote her first film score in 2010 for an award-winning film, and more recently was commissioned by the PRS for a piece incorporating both western classical and African instruments which was aired on the BBC.
Sona Jobarteh conducts lectures, presentations and holds residencies in Universities and institutions around the world, specialising in the area of the Griot tradition and its relationship to contemporary society.
Sona Jobarteh delivers speeches in the areas of educational reform, gender and entrepreneurship in Africa at high profile events around the world including summits for the UN and the World Trade Organization.
This month's issue of Songlines Magazine features Sona Jobarteh. It contains a feature-length article outlining her work as an international artist, her academy in the Gambia and her forthcoming new album.
We are very happy to announce Sona's recent endorsement from Takamine Guitars. Sona has played their guitars for the last four years all over the world and their instruments are a perfect match for her music and her sound. Learn more about Takamine Guitars and Sona's endorsement.
Enjoy a special moment between mother and son on this video, featured on CNN during the lockdown. Sona Jobarteh's 13 year old son, Sidiki Jobarteh-Codjoe, is an avid student of the Balafon and djimbe.
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