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Kane Mathis

Primary Instrument: Kora

Born: December, 1975    

Kane Mathis

Performing on the 21-string Mandinka Harp and the Turkish Oud, Kane Mathis renders compelling interpretations of these traditional musics. Years of study with generous masters have given Kane a rare opportunity to share these traditions with other cultures.

Kane began taking trips to The Gambia, West Africa in 1997 and has continued rigorous study of the Mandinka Kora. Over the past ten years his performances have earned him recognition by the Gambian president, The Gambian minister of culture, and both national television and radio of The Gambia.

Kane’s primary kora teachers are Malamini Jobarteh of Brikama, The Gambia and Moriba Kouyate of The Gambia. The Jobarteh family remain one of The Gambia’s most important musical legacies. Tata Din din Jobarteh, Pa Bobo Jobarteh, and Siffai Jobarteh are the families current most visible exponents touring the world....
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Kane Mathis and Timothy Quigly, "Kaira (Peace)"

The Kora Band, 2009

Mathis playing oud at Barbes, Brooklyn:

The Sahel Band, live

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Featured recording “Cascades”

Latest Release

Cascades

Origin Records (2010)

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Kane Mathis has developed a remarkable mastery of Mande music. Whether playing solo kora or with his tight, trio of balafon, kora and djembe drum, he is a pleasure to hear. It is not only that Mathis is comfortable and well versed in the Mande repertoire; it's that when he plays, he swings in exactly the right way, probably the hardest thing for an outsider to grasp in this rich, West African tradition. Kora music features improvisation, but like writing poetry in a foreign language, you have to follow the rules. Mathis manages this, with phrasing, accents, tone and riffs-even the fast ones-that feel just right...

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