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Gambia’s Kora Queen to play at World Music Festival in Chicago


Gambian kora player Sona Jobarteh has been announced as part of the line-up for the 2018 World Music Festival Chicago, reported Music In Africa.

Now in its 20th edition, the festival has been described as “the annual celebration of global vibes”.

This year the event will take place from 7 – 23 September, with artists performing on more than a dozen venues dotting the American city.

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events has also announced a World Music Festival meets the World Dumpling Fest.

The event will feature a celebration of cultures from India and Mexico, where such acts as Anindo Chatterjee, Anubrata Chatterjee, Sara Ranganathan, Anandi Bhattacharya with Debashish Bhattacharya and Subhasis Bhattacharya will play to the festival audience.

As will Mexican acts Grammy-nominated student ensemble, Mariachi Herencia de México; Mexican son stars Chéjere; Latin rock/singer-songwriter Ceci Bastida; and Mexican-Canadian, musician/Quique Escamilla.

Jobarteh will perform on 12 and 13 September at two different venues. She is the “first female griot kora virtuoso” from West Africa and is from a family steeped in the griot tradition.

In what is a busy year for Jobarteh, 2018 will also see her perform at the North Carolina Folk Festival in September. She is also set to release a new album after informing her fans on Facebook about a collaboration.

“Yes, the new album is underway! Pouring my heart and soul into my new album. In the studio with the great Curtis Ruiz on acoustic bass. Watch out for updates on progress!” she announced, posting a photo of Ruiz and herself.

Already, she has received an award this year for her work. At the Africa Festival, which took place in Wurzburg, Germany, Jobarteh was named the winner of an award given by the annual festival.

Sharing the news on social media, she wrote: “So honoured to have won the Africa Festival Artist of the Year 2018 – the largest African music festival in Europe! Thank you so much for your faith and support in me, I’m feeling so blessed.”

Culled from Music In Africa website

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