The great Gambian singer and kora player Pa Bobo Jobarteh rose to international attention when he was invited to perform at the WOMAD (World Music Arts and Dance, launched by Peter Gabriel) Festival at the age of 14.
By the time he was 6, Pa Bobo was studying kora (the West African harp) with his father, Malamini Jobarteh, a renowned musician of the Mandinka people in Gambia. Like his father, Pa Bobo is a Jali born to a life of music. Jalis are hereditary musicians and poets who for centuries have performed music, preserved oral history, and served as advisors to Mandinka kings.
When his father retired, Pa Bobo took his place, writing songs and spreading his vision of a world of peace. He is known in his homeland as the “Prince of Kora,” and his song, “Gambia, Peace, Love and Unity,” is the country’s unofficial anthem. Pa Bobo has toured in Europe and the United States of America with his family band.
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.