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Sona Jobarteh

a colour photo close up of Sona Jobarteh performing live

Africa’s first female Griot Kora virtuoso and singer, Sona Jobarteh creates a fine blend of traditional music, blues and Afropop.

Coming from a revered dynasty of West African Griots, Sona performs with the Kora, an African harp, played exclusively by a few ancient Manding families of West Africa. Born into the male-dominated Griot tradition, she’s a musical pioneer. As vocalist and Kora expert, she leads a band blending a mix of her ancestral cultural heritage, western classical music and rock, bringing an astonishing energy and vibrancy to her live performances worldwide.

Taught primarily by her father Sanjally Jobarteh since she was four years old, then studying composition at London's Royal College of Music, she brings a uniqueness to the tradition and her popularity has seen her gain nineteen million YouTube views on her song ‘Gambia’.

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Produced by the Barbican

‘A fine singer and composer, blending traditional music, blues and Afropop to impressive effect‘
The Guardian


a colour photo close up of Sona Jobarteh performing live

Watch: Sona Jobarteh - The Gambia

Watch the video for Sona Jobarteh's beautiful track, 'The Gambia'

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Listen: Contemporary Music on Spotify

Follow our regularly updated Contemporary Music playlist for a sample of the music you'll hear across our programme. Shuffle recommended. 

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