Sona Jobarteh



She has studied the Kora since the age of three, at first taught by her brother Tunde Jegede, who is 11 years older, and with whom she traveled several times a year to the Gambia as a child, and then by her father, Sanjally Jobarteh. She attended the Royal College of Music, where she studied cello, piano, and harpsichord, and soon after went on to the Purcell School of Music to study composition.[1][7] She also completed a degree at SOAS, University of London. She is fluent in Mandinka.

She gave her first performance at London's Jazz Café when she was four years old, and performed at festivals several times in her early childhood.

When still a music student she worked on several orchestral projects including the "River of Sound" with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, featuring Evelyn Glennie, and other collaborative works including performances with the Royal Philharmonic OrchestraBritten Sinfonia, Milton Keynes City Orchestra and the Viva Chamber Orchestra.

In 2002 she performed in Vienna with the renowned jazz vocalist Cleveland Watkiss, also forming a part of his support act for Cassandra Wilson at the Barbican in London. She also featured on Damon Albarn's Mali Music Project which was later performed for Jools Holland.

Jobarteh also teaches the Kora in London. She worked with her father, Sanjally Jobarteh, in setting up a formal music school in The Gambia, named after her famous grandfather.
In addition to the Kora, she also sings and plays the guitar.

Sona Jobarteh & Band - Kora Music from West Africa

Paul Wilkes Because of you...I am falling in love with all of Africa's rich, dangerously beautiful and deep deep deep sounds...Sounds so new to my ears...Both musically and vocally...My hands are moving, feet moving, body shaking, and heart-pumping blood a bit too fart...Every track...Thank you Sona and everyone that made this a musical

Rachel Wambui Listening from East Africa. I don't understand a word...and yet I understand everything. Soul language. Love, love, love.

I. P. Man, this woman is a goddess... Her voice is so lovely. Her band looks like a whole bunch of great people, especially the dude with the drums.


Sona Jobarteh - GAMBIA 

Sona Jobarteh's debut music video "Gambia" in celebration of the Golden Jubilee of Independence for the Gambia in 2015.

This video features the traditional Mandinka Drum called the 'Seruba', an instrument no longer featured much in Gambian mainstream society.

By featuring the drum in this song, Sona aims not only to resonate with the deep history of the Mandinka people but also to boost and promote awareness of this instrument both in the Gambia and internationally.

Selina leentjie I'm from Namibia and first time listening to this song... all I can say is that we Africans are so gifted and beautiful

Bárbara Almeida, I'm Brazilian and already liked in the first 3 seconds, loved the rest.

Sona Jobarteh - Kaira 

 Performance 8 July 2018. Sona Jobarteh is the first female Kora virtuoso from a West African griot family. First in a tradition that is several centuries old, in which the Kora mastery was exclusively passed down from father to son.
Since the release of her album 'Fasiya', she is justifiably praised, both as an instrumentalist and vocalist. Live, she is accompanied by four musicians.

Kedar Baral If I ever have a daughter, her name would surely be Sona!! Definitely!! Peace in Africa!

RO FI_MAN Sona you are incredibly proud of Gambia for presenting such natural African music, Africa is the source of majority beats in the world God bless you from Ethiopia

Sona Jobarteh - Bannaye Live in Guanajuato, Mexico


Sona Jobarteh at Sleeping Village Chicago 2018

The 20th Annual World Music Festival Chicago is presented by the City of Chicago and produced by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.
This city-wide, multi-venue, eleven-day festival has attracted over 650,000 concertgoers and has presented more than 650 artists and ensembles from over 80 countries since it began in 1999.

J.F. Luiña Bousquet Sona Jobarteh is not "one of the first female kora players". She is literally THE FIRST woman to ever play the kora as a professional musician. The Griot tradition and learning how to play the kora was always passed from father to son, only men have been doing it for generations.

Andile Meshack Sona is a great musician, a professional Kora player, and a singer with a golden voice. She is also an educationist in the Gambia with her music and cultural academy. She has taken her Mande music and culture all over the world.

The Gambia - Sona Jobarteh

Gambia, oficialmente República de la Gambia y anteriormente República Islámica de la Gambia, es una nación de África occidental. Se encuentra rodeada en su totalidad por Senegal, excepto en la desembocadura del río Gambia en el océano Atlántico.
Su capital es Banjul, aunque la mayor ciudad del país es Serekunda.
El país está situado en la ribera del río Gambia, que le da nombre al país, y que discurre por el centro del mismo con desembocadura en el océano Atlántico.
El país tiene 10 300 km² de superficie1 y una población estimada de 1,7 millones de personas.
Gambia comparte con el resto de naciones de África Occidental un pasado asociado al mercado de esclavos, que fue el factor clave para el emplazamiento y mantenimiento de una colonia en el río Gambia, primero mantenida por portugueses y más tarde por el Imperio Británico.
El 18 de febrero de 1965, Gambia logró su independencia del Reino Unido y, el 24 de abril de 1970, se convirtió en una República dentro de la Mancomunidad de Naciones.
Desde su independencia durante más de tres décadas, Gambia fue dirigida de una u otra forma por Dawda Jawara, bajo un gobierno democrático de partido dominante hasta que Jawara fue derrocado por un golpe militar en 1994.
Tras el golpe, asumió la presidencia Yahya Jammeh, quien gobernaría autoritariamente el país hasta ser desbancado del poder tras su sorpresiva derrota electoral y la posterior intervención militar de la CEDEAO luego de que se negara a renunciar al gobierno.
Tras la intervención, en enero de 2017, el ganador de las elecciones, Adama Barrow, asumió la presidencia. Es un país con unas tierras muy fértiles que han convertido la agricultura en uno de los elementos clave de su economía, junto con la pesca y el turismo.
Aproximadamente la tercera parte de la población vive bajo el umbral internacional de la pobreza.
Gambia posee unos de los Índice de Desarrollo Humano más bajos del mundo; con 0,441 se ubica en el puesto 175 de 188 países.