Primary Instrument: Kora
Sona Jobarteh is the first female Kora virtuoso from a prestigious West African Griot family, coming from a long line of hereditary musicians. She is the granddaughter of the master Griot Amadu Bansang Jobarteh and cousin to the celebrated Kora maestro Toumani Diabaté. As a multi- instrumentalist, singer, composer and producer Sona works with musicians from around the world.
In her teenage years Sona attended Sona Jobarteh the Royal College of Music where she studied cello, piano and harpsichord, and soon after went onto the Purcell School of Music to study composition. During this time she was involved in working on several orchestral projects including the ‘River of Sound’ with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, featuring Evelyn Glennie, and other collaborative works including performances with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, Milton Keynes City Orchestra and the Viva Chamber Orchestra.
As a versatile artist Sona has collaborated as a singer, guitarist and Kora player with highly-respected musicians such as Cleveland Watkiss, Oumou Sangaré, Kasse Mady Diabaté, Toumani Diabaté, Sambou Suso, Juldeh Camara, and Damon Albarn. Sona is also a member of the African Classical Music Ensemble which tours worldwide under the leadership of composer Tunde Jegede.
Sona recently completed Motherland: The Score for the multi-award winning film ‘Motherland’ directed by Owen ‘Alik Shahadah in which she pioneers a new genre in African cinematic music.
Sona’s new album “FASIYA,” which has recently been released, takes her musical expertise to a completely new level. Drawing on her unique heritage and bringing in a selection of top-class West African musicians such as Juldeh Camara, Sankung Jobarteh, Femi Temowo, Baba Gallé Kante, Babacar Dieng, and Surahata Susso this album is a real gem.