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Speakers Auditorium @ Georgia State University
55 Gilmer Street Southeast
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
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Event Details
April 30, 2018 6:00 PM
Speakers Auditorium @ Georgia State University - Atlanta, Georgia
All Ages
Event Description

Sona Jobarteh is the first female Kora virtuoso to come from a west African Griot family. Breaking away from tradition, she is a pioneer in an ancient male-dominated hereditary tradition that has been exclusively handed down from father to son for the past seven centuries. Reputed for her skill as an instrumentalist, distinctive voice, infectious melodies and her grace onstage, Sona has rapidly risen to international success following the release of her critically acclaimed album “Fasiya” (Heritage) in 2011.

The Kora (a 21-stringed African harp) is one of the most important instruments belonging to the Manding peoples of West Africa (Gambia, Senegal, Mali, Guinea and Guinea-Bissau). It belongs exclusively to griot families (hereditary musical families), and only those who are born into one of these families have the right to take up the instrument professionally. Sona, who was born into one of the five principal Griot families, has become the first female to take up this instrument professionally in a male tradition that dates back over seven centuries.

Sona's family carries a heavy reputation for renowned Kora masters, notably her grandfather Amadu Bansang Jobarteh who was an icon in Gambia’s cultural and musical history, and her cousin Toumani Diabaté who is renowned for his mastery of the Kora.


MasterClass with Sona Jobarteh An account of the history of the Griot tradition in West African Classical music and the countries and families involved.

Our host will ask and take a few questions from our audience the Kora itself and its place in the tradition of African Culture. Through our host’s interactions asks aspects of Sona's journey and how her expression through the instrument – including how unusual it is for a Kora master to also be a singer and of course: be a woman (even today).

Questions will be asked about the physical structure of the instrument and why it sounds as it does. Understanding of how Sona see’s music in her life today. We will get an understanding of the importance of education for children generally and legacies in particular (Sona is also a Kora luthier and has trained others how to make the instrument) There will be discussion on major turning point influences on her career and beliefs, musically and otherwise. What might be the future of Kora music and why it's important to preserve its power. Questions about her approach to composing; her particular approach to making albums; and additional questions from our audience to wrap up this inspiring event!

Masterclass will begin promptly at 7:00PM

A doors open reception will begin at 6:00PM 

Attendees will have an opportunity to provide questions during the reception that our host will ask of our artist! 

This is an event no musician wants to miss! 

Follow The Rights 2 Life Foundation - https://www.instagram.com/rights2life


Sona Jobarteh - https://www.instagram.com/sonajobarteh


Parking Available at 33 Auditorium Pl SE, Atlanta, GA 30303 https://goo.gl/maps/6rqfYfk3XaE2