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 seven 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, her US tours included shows at the renowned Hollywood Bowl 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 wrote her first film score in 2010. Since then she has written and featured in numerous film scores.
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.
Sona Jobarteh has been hooded by Berklee College of Music with an honorary Doctorate Degree in Music, alongside Usher and Roberta Flack. Sona Jobarteh gave both an acceptance speech, and an address to the graduates of 2023.
Drawing on an extensive 4-hour interview with the celebrated TV personality Lesley Stahl in New York, this renowned US news program has showcased the unique life of Sona Jobarteh, her musicianship, and her academy in The Gambia. Their award-winning news team filmed Sona in the Gambia, during her 2022 US tour, and at university lectures in the USA.
Director Baltasar Kormakur brought on board the expertise of Sona Jobarteh to write an iconic song for his latest Hollywood film Beast, starring Idris Elba. The song titled N'na Duniyaa (Our World) is available now on all major streaming platforms.
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.
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