In Dawda Jobarteh’s musical universe old African traditions are met with an open mind and a modern approach. The Gambian musician was born into the griot family Jobarteh who for generations have been musicians and storytellers. You can tell from his sublime string playing on the harp-like kora that the musical heritage is more than substantial!
For Dawda Jobarteh – who has now made Denmark his home – there is no contradiction in taking the griot heritage deeply serious and challenging the kora with new sound possibilities and collaborators. Jobarteh finds great inspiration in jazz, which you can hear on his album, Transitional Times, which explicitly greets the likes of John Coltrane.
Dawda’s third album, I Met Her by the River, was released earlier in 2019 on Sterns Music. The recognised British magazine Songlines gave the album five stars and wrote that Dawda Jobarteh ”takes his griot heritage into bold new territory on a kora adventure that is both thrilling and audacious”.
With him on stage Dawda Jobarteh brings his band consisting of bass player Preben Carlsen, drummer Francis Osei and percussionist Sal Dibba – and also cellist, singer and composer Cæcilie Trier (CMT is short for Cæcilie Trier Musik). When Cæcilie Trier played Roskilde Festival in 2018, she had invited Dawda Jobarteh to join her on stage. Jobarteh also played on her album Red Dragon, more specifically on the track “Spender”. Now, Jobarteh returns the favour. It’ll be exciting to hear what the two come up with when they play Roskilde Festival 2019.