Jobarteh is “Africa’s first female Griot kora virtuoso… blending traditional music, blues, and Afropop to impressive effect.” – The Guardian
Sona Jobarteh is the first female Kora virtuoso to come from one of five principal West African Griot families. The Kora, a 21-stringed African harp, belongs exclusively to Griot families, and Jobarteh is a pioneer in an ancient male-dominated hereditary practice. Reputed for her skill as an instrumentalist, distinctive voice, and her grace on stage, Jobarteh has rapidly risen to international success. As well as her dedication to spreading powerful humanitarian messages through her music, she is active in social change, as seen in the 2022 CBS TV 60 Minutes segment that explored how she singlehandedly set up The Gambia Academy – an institution dedicated to achieving educational reform across Africa. Her latest album, Badinyaa Kumoo, released in 2022, and she last appeared to a sold-out audience in Victoria in 2019 for TD JazzFest.