Dawda Jobarteh
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Dawda Jobarteh

Copenhagen, Capital Region, Denmark | INDIE

Copenhagen, Capital Region, Denmark | INDIE
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"The Gambia is one of African's smallest countries, surviving on peanut exports and tourist imports. Witchcraft and drug trafficking are rife. It is ruled by an iron-fisted leader who was recently re-elected in dubious polls. The traditional music is similar to that of Senegal, which surrounds it, and also of other Manding countries like Mali. Despite (or because of) the dictatorial nature of the government it seems like a stable place and has a rich tradition of music passed down from generation to generation by its griots. Dawda Jobareteh is the grandson of one of the greatest recorded kora players, Alhaji Bai Konte. His father and uncle are also famous kora players, but Dawda started off playing calabash at the feet of his famous uncle Dembo Konte before becoming an expatriot. This is a mellow album, more jazz than folk, then what sounds like a raucous electric guitar revs up in "Dinding Do" and really takes you by surprise, without seeming out of place. It's in fact an effect pedal that turns the kora into a lethal weapon of heavy metal. Indian musicians on flute and mridangam blend in unobtrusively on "Nkankele." The bass, played by Nana Osibio from Ghana, Preben Carlsen's electric guitar, and even sax that pop up all add colour to the flow of the music and make it a really enjoyable trip. Backing vocalists are two ladies from Mali that formerly toured with Salif Keita. This is so accomplished you would not suspect it is Dawda's debut album." - Muzikifan


"A product of Mande musical royalty, Dawda Jobarteh is the grandson of Alhaji Bai Konte and son of Amadou Bansang Jobarteh. His debut CD is an inventive ensemble work recorded with an international band in Denmark. A satisfying mix of original compositions and fresh arrangements of traditional classics. A young artist establishes himself as someone to watch for new directions in Mande music." - Afropop


"The songs and instrumentals on this album are cool and contemporary in sound .... An impressive debut." - London Evening Standard


"2011 produced a bigger than usual crop of engaging new albums and important reissues. In no special order, here are ten new releases and five reissues: la crème de la crème." - All About Jazz


"The album evokes not only the uplifting ambiance of Alhaji Bai Konte's recordings of the 1970s, but also the stately and amiable electric music played by Senegambian bands such as Orchestra Baobab during the same period" - All About Jazz


"Dawda has created a rich, original sound helped by an international line-up including the outstandingly versatile Danish guitarist Preben Carlsen and Ghanaian bass player Nana Osibio" - Songlines


"A great debut album from an impressive new artist" - Songlines


Discography

as band member / featured musician:-
Salaam Band 1994: Xalatou Africa
Salaam Band 1996: Wato Sita
Kaira Trio 1997: Kaira nata
Salaam Band 1998: Al wuli Wakilola
Moussa Diallo 2003: Der var engang
Central Earth 2003: Live from Copenhagen Jazzhouse
Pierre Dørge and New Jungle Orchestra 2005: Cheek to cheek
Mariane Bitran 2006: All One
Rainbow Spirit 2007: Rainbow Spirit
Jeppe Gram 2007: Uppsala dream
Pierre Dørge og New jungle Orchestra 2008: Live from Royal playhouse
Moussa Diallo 2008: Acoustic Groove

debut album:-
DAWDA JOBARTEH: NORTHERN LIGHT GAMBIAN NIGHT (Sterns Music STCD1112)

sophomore album 2013:-

DAWDA JOBARTEH: t.b.c.
(Sterns Music STCD****) currently recording 2013

tracks on compilations:-
"Maisatou" på World Music Denmark's compilation 2008
"Nkanakele" på World Music Denmark's compilation 2009
"Dindingdo" på World Music Denmark's compilation 2010

Photos

Bio

Born 1976 in The Gambia, Dawda is the grandson of Alhaji Bai Konte, the son of Amadou Bansang Jobarteh and the nephew of both Malamini Jobarteh and Dembo Konte. In the world of traditional Manding music, and in particular that of the West African kora, these are serious calling cards and not to be taken lightly.

Yet Dawda was not, at first, a kora player and even today his instrument is one acquired after he'd left the land of his birth and settled in Denmark. No, Dawda learnt his music sitting at the feet of his uncle Malamini and playing the calabash. And perhaps it is this training as a percussionist, only coming to the kora later and on his own terms, which makes his music so unique.

Because make no mistake, Dawda and his music are unique. Clearly the universal language of Jazz permeate his work, but Dawda defies convention to include some deeply personal statements. Life is not so simple - even for the men - in a polygamous society where the odds seem stacked in favour of the male. Life is not always easy when child care can be in the charge of an extended family, not all of whose members want that responsibility.

Politely but consistently, with power and conviction and the support of long-term friends and band members, not least Preben Carlsen on guitar, Nana Osibio on bass and Salieu Dibba on percussion, Dawda Jobarteh brings his mature, contemporary vision to an ancient tradition.