Sunday, October 15
2:30 pm PDT
Town Hall Great Hall
Preserving her musical past, Sona Jobarteh innovates to support a more humanitarian future. The spirit of Sona Jobarteh’s musical work stands on the mighty shoulders of The West African Griot Tradition; she is a living archive of the Gambian people. With one ear on the family’s historic reputation, one on the all-important future legacy and her heart in both places, she is preparing a place today for the next generation. Her singing and Kora playing while fronting her band, spring directly from this tradition.
Sona Jobarteh has performed to crowds from the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles to Symphony Space in New York, and she’s sold out the Barbican in London, Cologne’s Philharmonie, and the Seine Musicale in Paris. These performances are under-pinned by her skills as a composer arising from early days at London’s RCM and Purcell School of Music.
Jobarteh’s work extends into other art genres. In 2010 she scored the film Motherland in and in 2022 the Hollywood blockbuster Beast, starring Idris Elba. She co-wrote a track on LL Cool J’s latest with Q Tip, and filmed several of her live shows for CBS’ 60 minutes.
Her dedication to spreading powerful humanitarian messages through her songs and her stage performances had led Jobarteh to give back to her community in other ways. She is active in social change and leads by her own example. Sona founded The Gambia Academy, a pioneering institution dedicated to achieving educational reform across the continent of Africa.
“Sona Jobarteh is Africa’s first female griot kora virtuoso, and also a fine singer and composer, blending traditional music, blues and Afropop to impressive effect” –Robin Denselow, The Guardian
*Earshot Jazz COVID-19 Policy: Earshot recommends that all ticket holders be vaccinated. Masks are strongly encouraged unless actively eating or drinking. Policy subject to change. Full COVID policy here.
Sona Jobarteh photo courtesy of FLI