Gambia’s kora queen to release new album in summer

Sona Jobarteh will release a new musical album this summer.

Sona 1

The Gambia female kora sensation, Sona Jobarteh, is set to release a new musical album this summer.

Known for her beautiful voice and careful mishmash of traditional and modern ingredients in her music, Sona made name for herself as the woman to have given the Jaally kora tradition a modern phase.

“This album is challenging for me as I have so many new ideas I want to incorporate into the music whilst still keeping my feet within the tradition. It’s a fine balance between the two but I really feel like I found a new sound within the Manding genre that can reflect my unique position within this tradition at the same time as staying rooted,” she was quoted as saying on her band’s official newsletter.

“I’m really looking forward to getting this album on the road and performing the new material on stage. I’m pushing a lot of boundaries, so it’s really going to be something new!”


Meanwhile, Sona will conduct her first tour around UK in June this year with her full band.

The kora, a 21-stringed harp-like instrument, was a dominant musical tool in traditional West Africa—a dominance it enjoys even today despite the proliferation of modern tools in musical production in the region.

The kora music is traditionally a male-dominant area though that monopoly has had a challenge with coming of Sona on to the musical scene in The Gambia.

Sona has recently opened a music school for children in The Gambia— the first traditional music school built in the country.

Sona has also done several international performances including a very recent one in Ghana, Frankfurt, Malaysia and other places.


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