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West African Kora: Celebrate Its Music and History
Celebrate musical literacy month with an in-person kora performance! Musician Sean Gaskell will play traditional songs and present kid-friendly facts and information about this ancient 21-stringed instrument from West Africa. Want to learn more? Stay for a question-and-answer session at the end of the performance. For all ages.
About the West African kora
- The kora is traditionally played by oral historians known as Griots, often called Jalis or Jelis.
- Traditional songs, the heart and soul of the kora's musical repertoire, tell stories of war, hardship, love and loss. They present the history and fabric of Mande society, from which the instrument originates.
About Sean Gaskell
- Watch a clip of Sean playing the West African kora.
- Sean first heard the kora performed live in 2006. That performance by Kane Mathis, who would become his first teacher, inspired him to immerse himself in music of the kora and travel to its homeland in West Africa.
- Visits to Brikama, Gambia, West Africa provided Sean the opportunity to study the kora under the instruction of Moriba Kuyateh and his father, the late Malamini Jobarteh.