Sona Joubert, the first singer and musician to play the Kora, orchestrated an infectious wonder during the opening concert of the sixteenth edition of the Casablanca Festival (June 22 – 24, 2023, Casablanca). The artist has many strings to his bow: composer, multi-instrumentalist, educator and activist, descended from a line of Gambian grids on his father’s side. Mostly on international tours, he has performed in the four corners of the world, especially in Africa, although he rarely performs on stage in his home continent. Overjoyed to return home, he expressed his joy at being reunited in front of the Moroccan audience.
The singer also won over those who came to the festival, while dedicating one of his titles to Gambia and Morocco, helping him to sing in harmony and chorus. During her concert at Stage 21 of Anfa Park, a native of London (United Kingdom), an English mother brilliantly presented the musical traditions she inherited from her father Sanjali Jobarte and her grandfather Amadu Pansang Jobarte, the great kora player. Mastery of this 21-stringed instrument is played only by Kriet families, the heart of Mandingo culture, from which the artist hails, and is indeed a matter of passing down through generations, including Sona, her brother Tunde Jekade and her cousin. Toumani Diabetes.
Imbued with this tradition, Sona Joberte attended various music schools in England from the age of 3, playing the cello and veena before learning the kora from a young age. She became a repository of noble knowledge passed down from father to son especially by studying the old texts which were thoroughly mastered by her father. In this way, the artist became the first professional woman to play khora in public.
Universal Speaking from Ancestral Tradition
Through her music and songs that carry strong messages, Sona Jobarthe narrates this eclectic journey of ancestral values and respect for elders rooted in African cultures. Fighting for a better tomorrow, as he noted with grace and elegance during his concert. And it is in this spirit that Coraist has taken the initiative to develop a simultaneous artistic and educational approach. Gambia AcademyIn 2015.
The institute is considered innovative in many aspects, starting with its training program, which does not aim only at the mastery of rhythm and harmony. As opposed to a Eurocentric approach to musical practice, Zona Joubert here suggests a framework through African values, culture and history. Suffice it to say that he offers a learning process that can be taken within the framework of his country’s education system or within the framework of other countries on the continent.
In fact, Zona Joubert began by observing that much of the education program in Africa was highly saturated with the European system, which was based on rote memorization. At the Gambia Academy, she is responsible for “decolonizing” the system in a way, to educate from an African perspective that advocates development and construction at the local level first, to present a reasonable foundation for a peaceful global dialogue.
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