Kane Mathis
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Kane Mathis

Brooklyn, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2020 | INDIE

Brooklyn, New York, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2020
Band World Acoustic




"New Sound for Kora"

Erik Neumann
Seattle Weekly

Listening to Kane Mathis’ kora playing brings to mind Keith Jarrett’s Koln Concert. Their instruments are similar: in Mathis’ case, the kora is a 21-stringed West African harp that he learned in Gambia. Take the guts out of Jarrett’s piano, stand them up and pluck them, and you have the same idea. Both performers employ gorgeous improvisation on top of simple rhythms; their songs meander between chord and melody, creating a continuous, crystalline drone. - Seattle Weekly

"Seattle Times"

If fresh organic sounds are an endangered species, then Kane Mathis is Greenpeace. Mathis plays the kora, a 21-stringed West African harplike instrument made from a gourd wrapped in cow skin
Mathis’ kora adds a vivid sonic quality that transports the whole thing to lofty, unexpected realms.

- Seattle Times

"Willamete Week Review"

spotlighted Kora player (the Kora, if you didn’t know, is a boulbus half-harp, half-guitar instrument from West Africa that sounds both sharp and airy) Kane Mathis is an absolute whiz.
Willamete Week Review
- Casey Jarman

"Afropop Worldwide"

Kane Mathis has developed a remarkable mastery of Mande music. Whether playing solo kora or with his tight, trio of balafon, kora and djembe drum, he is a pleasure to hear. It is not only that Mathis is comfortable and well versed in the Mande repertoire; it's that when he plays, he swings in exactly the right way, probably the hardest thing for an outsider to grasp in this rich, West African tradition. Kora music features improvisation, but like writing poetry in a foreign language, you have to follow the rules. Mathis manages this, with phrasing, accents, tone and riffs-even the fast ones-that feel just right. His sound is both authentic and spontaneous, good enough to sound like an insider, but relaxed and personal enough to be far more than polished mimicry. It is rare indeed for a non-African to reach this level in any African tradition, particularly such a subtle and demanding one.

Banning Eyre, Senior Editor: Afropop Worldwide
- Afropop Worldwide

"Münir Nurettin Beken Ph D"

A master musician on the West African Kora, Kane Mathis combines superb
technical sophistication with rich cultural insight. His graceful performances are outstanding examples of the music of West African Mandinka tradition.
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Kane Mathis and Rusty Knorr - Kora and Percussion
Kane Mathis - Bantam Ba Kouyate
Kane Mathis - 2005
The Sahel Band (featuring Kane Mathis)



Kane Mathis – Musical Biography

Performing on the 21-string Mandinka Harp and the Turkish Oud, Kane Mathis renders compelling interpretations of these traditional musics. Years of study with generous masters have given Kane a rare opportunity to share these traditions with other cultures.

Kane began taking trips to The Gambia, West Africa in 1997 and has continued rigorous study of the Mandinka Kora. Over the past ten years his performances have earned him recognition by the Gambian president, The Gambian minister of culture, and both national television and radio of The Gambia.

Kane’s primary kora teachers are Malamini Jobarteh of Brikama, The Gambia and Moriba Kouyate of The Gambia. The Jobarteh family remain one of The Gambia’s most important musical legacies. Tata Din din Jobarteh, Pa Bobo Jobarteh, and Siffai Jobarteh are the families current most visible exponents touring the world.

Kane’s Oud study began with Mutlu Torun of the I.T.U. conservatory in Istanbul and continued with 5 and a half years of courses with Oud virtuoso Münir Nurttin Beken.

Since completing his study Kane has been sought after as a soloist and accompanist internationally on both instruments. As a composer Kane is generating new works for both instruments as well as experimental work for electronic fixed media for film and modern dance. Kane is the recipient of many grants including a Chamber Music America award as well as an Earshot Jazz "Album of The Year Award"