Bai  Jobarteh

"to call Bai Jobarteh a drummer... in the Western sense.... sat behind a kit playing time..... is to completely miss the point!..... He brings a complete understanding of rhythm.... phrasing.... African tradition...... and his experience of Kora.... Djembeh.... and Bolombata.... to every piece of music that he plays!"

  Home Page  Artists

If you want to stream... or buy... tracks from  this Artist....go to  City Walls Music-Broadjam



As a member of the Jobarteh family, son of Malamini and brother to Tata Dinding, you would expect Bai to be at the forefront of West African music. Quietly spoken, charming and sensitive, he moves through the music with the precision of an eagle in flight. Watching him work the Djembeh players in the rhythmic sections of some of Tata Dinding's most exhilarating live performance is worth the trip to Africa all on its own! He is in the familial tradition; a master of rhythmic interplay. His knowledge of Kora, learned as a child alongside his brothers and his father, equips him to use tone and pulse with remarkable ease. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Bolombata, this is a 4 stringed bass constructed of pole and gourd just like  the Kora and usually tuned to root, third, fifth and seventh. A shaker at the top of the wooden pole allows for percussive elements. Bai Jobarteh sat and played Bolombata bass for one of his brother Pa Bobo's recordings with The Kaira Band, and elevated the principle to an art form before my very eyes and ears.  His understanding of bass lines as the pulse of the rhythm and foundation for the harmony is intuitive and at the highest level. The full weight of hundreds of years of traditional village life and singing, together with all of the tribal songs and regional chants that he can play on the Kora, were encompassed in every note that he played! Then I got to play bass with him on drums and Alhagie Minteh playing Djembeh. Tata led us along a musical path that soared up to the heavens! This has been the defining moment in my musical ventures. Jazz was never this good! We shall look further at Alhagie Minteh with the rest of the Salam band, and particularly the bass player Bambo Conteh, when the Salam Band artist page comes up! 

Let us look at Bai's work. He is the rhythmic mainstay of both Tata  Dinding's Salam Band and Pa Bobo's Kaira Band. But for me he is at his best on his CD entitled "From Sanyang to Duniya". This is a percussive work with the Dutch musician Jan Hendricks. The lyricism will carry you to the Sanyang coast and you can almost taste the grilled fish as the stories are told. From Douwda Saneh( a Mandinka warrior) to Yankhadi, which is a Guinean Susu dance, this 9 track CD is full of beauty and grace. 


Jan Hendricks and Bai Jobarteh are now reunited in Holland. They are recording and playing if you are within travelling distance, I would recommend that you make some arrangements. Their schedule is available at Jan's website.

Check out\ 

and contact Jan at; 



For more information contact:- 

  Home Page  Artists

Copyright 2013. Musicman 1. All rights reserved.