Malamini Jobarteh & Dembo Konte – Jaliya – Vinyl Record
Malamini Jobarteh and Dembo Konte were both renowned musicians and griots (traditional storytellers and oral historians) from Gambia, West Africa. They were masters of the kora, a traditional West African harp-like instrument. The album “Jaliya” is a collaborative effort between these two talented musicians, and it showcases their virtuosity on the kora and their deep knowledge of traditional Mandinka music.
Jaliya is a beautiful and authentic representation of the Gambian griot tradition. The album features intricate kora playing and soulful vocals, often accompanied by traditional percussion instruments. It’s a testament to the rich musical heritage of Gambia and the storytelling tradition of the griots.
The kora of the Mande, an ethnic group in West Africa, particularly in Gambia, Mali, and Guinea, is a beautiful, fretless, harp-lute instrument with a sound box made of a large calabash gourd that was cut in half and covered with thin animal skin. Twenty-one strings are attached to the long rosewood neck. The kora player usually sits or stands, holding the kora in a upright position with the bottom of the instrument resting lightly against his body and the strings facing him directly.
He plays with both hands, plucking the strings like one would a harp, and producing different patterns on each hand which combine to create a melodious and rhythmic sound. Played by the jeli, the hereditary musicians of the Mande, this instrument is often accompanied by a female jeli singer. Sometimes the kora player sings praises to the gods, or heroic songs like the famous Sunjata epic.
This collaboration between Malamini Jobarteh and Dembo Konte likely captures the essence of Mandinka music and culture, making it a valuable contribution to the world of traditional West African music. It’s an album that can be appreciated not only for its musical artistry but also for its cultural significance in preserving and sharing the musical heritage of Gambia and the Mandinka people.
Brand new, never played and still sealed in the factory plastic seal
Stern’s Africa 1985 / Rounder Records 5021