Jaliya, socially relevant music!

It’s been wonderful during the last few months to see how Kora is spreading across the world. Rosie Jones, doing charity work in the Gambia, found herself learning and playing it, Jude Winwood took Bras and Babygros to Gambia and also followed her Kora journey, having just completed a Masters at SOAS exploring it. Jonathan and Dominic are both in the Gambia learning – Johnny with Jali skills like no Manchester City Supporter ever had before and Dom, with his guitar skills taking to it like a pro.

Johnny and Dom

And all this with Hammay Saho, a wonderful teacher who I had the privilege of learning with.

Kora school in the Gambia with my teacher Hammay Saho

Kora school in the Gambia with my teacher Hammay Saho

John Peabody Hayspock who has been learning with Jali Nyonkoling Kuyateh, a figurehead of Manchester’s musical scene, is making Koras to sell – beautifully crafted, traditional ones. Marie Millward, with the drumming group Kontani, has just bought a Kora from Les, Adaptatrap in Brighton, who made my Kora.

Contact me if you’re interested in this beautiful instrument and I’ll happily point you in the right direction.

I’m off to a fantastic Kora weekend 7-9 March , run by Steve Haden and the inimitable Jali Kebba Susso – set in the astonishingly beautiful scenery of Angus, 18 people will come together to explore Kora, some for the first time, none of us for the last! I can’t wait.

Michael and I are going into the studio on 15 Feb to record our EP – exciting. I was just in there with our producer Dominic Johnson – doing some recordings of tracks that are going to a rather eminent source. I can’t say more at this stage, other than I’m joining PRS pretty quick!

I wrote a song in all the chaos last week, which I am pleased with because it made me realise that, even though I’m only at the start of my Kora journey, I’m doing it the way the art of Jaliya was intended. To raise our awareness of things that matter. Click on the picture of the plastic playground below to hear it.


You can see what Michael and I are up to on the forthcoming  Gigs section of the Blog. Go Kora, Go!


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