Musician Sean Gaskell and his West African Kora
Join the Lopez Island Library for an evening of world music as musician Sean Gaskell gives a performance/educational demonstration on the Kora, an ancient 21-stringed harp from West Africa. The music is traditionally played by oral and musical historians known as Griots (Gree-ohs). While the Kora is only 300 years old, some commonly played songs can be traced back 800 years to the founding of the Mande empire.The Kora is a very melodic and seemingly peaceful instrument, which is contrary to its musical themes. Many songs tell ancient stories of war and hardship, while others praise people of high political status and those who helped expand the Mande empire. The evening will feature traditional songs that are the heart and soul of the Koras musical repertoire in addition to some of his own personal compositions. Sean Gaskell learned how to play throughout the course of multiple visits to the Kora’ homeland in Gambia, West Africa. He has studied extensively under the instruction of Malamini Jobarteh and Moriba Kuyateh, both of Brikama, Gambia. He has been featured at a number of music festivals in the US, Gambia, and Senegal. This beautiful program of music is sponsored by Friends of the Lopez Library.