Pa Bobo

"to be so infectiously happy................and so musically gifted...........................................

 ensures the lineage of Griot  and Jali Kora music in the Jobarteh family.............."


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There are not many occasions in my life that I can recall feeling as blessed as I do now. Pa Bobo Jobarteh is the younger brother of Tata Dinding, and those of you who are lovers of West African  music will know that his father, Malamini Baba Jobarteh, has been the leading exponent of the Kora for over 40 years. Where Tata leads with pulsating rhythm, Pa Bobo delivers a more harmonic approach. This he achieves by using a Kora that has tuning pegs, like those of a guitar. This allows for instant re-tuning, and the use of sharps and flats in a more controlled way. Drones are available at pitches that suit a particular tuning, and enharmonic shifts can be made that allow for the introduction of new flavours in both traditional and modern composition.

What is exciting is that Pa Bobo is developing his composition in line with this wider enharmonic approach. We are therefore privileged to be able to witness this musical growth as the songs become available. "Peace, Love and Unity" was created in 2001 and has become something of a favourite with all of The Gambia. When art begins to reflect the growth of a nation in this way, then culture has a very strong sense of cross-fertilisation in its presence!

Pa Bobo travels widely, has played festivals in the United kingdom, and even invited his father Malamini and brother Tata to join him on a 2 week tour of Australia. This  was a sell-out success. With that in mind, we are in talks to commission a new work that features all 3 of the Jobarteh family playing in a Kora trio. This will be recorded here in The Gambia in the spring of 2007 and will of course be available exclusively on-line.

We have 12 tracks of Pa Bobo available now. There are traditional arrangements and modern compositions both solo and with his band. The  new compositions feature his ever growing understanding of harmony. The Kaira Band includes younger brother Landing Jobarteh on Bass; the omni-present Bai Jobarteh on Drums; big sister Siffai Jobarteh on vocals and Ousman Jeng on Percussion. There is also a taste of the new album that we shall feature here in 3 months time. "Malaria" is a live version that just rocks all day!

The new recordings  are now coming on-line......we have added "Kelefa" and "Travellers" to the track list. Both feature the Kaira band and will be the basis of the new album.

Read more of Pa Bobo at  www.kairakunda


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