at the new homepages of Jalikebba Kuyateh, singer, kora player, song writer. Here you find short information on the artist, contact to him, news about him, announcement and reviews of his current musical performances, photographies, some press and internet articles on him as well as musical samples of his work and short video clips from his concerts… These pages are updated continuously. — MIGHT YOU BE WELL! All good wishes to go out to you and your families and friends. Note: These pages might become re-structured once in future times; we are thankfully to the current webhoster for all their efforts… All has its time. (Another, earnest reminder: Hackers and sabotagists shall stay far from this website! We will report any attempt to manipulate pages and server or injections of malware code to strict investigating services. Peace shall be!)
JALIKEBBA Kuyateh is a dynamic Afro-Manding kora musician, singer and composer from The Gambia. Born into a Griot family, he started playing the kora at the age of six under the guidance of his father and has been playing the kora ever since. Kuyateh is a famous griot family name. For many years Jalikebba was the lead performer at local tourist areas, and he played with many groups in Africa until forming his own band, the Sutura Band. Jalikebba and the Sutura Band perform throughout The Gambia and also Senegal at festivals, cultural events and tourist venues. With his fusion of traditional and modern African music, Jalikebba brings the joyful, progressive sounds of his kora to the world. He tours Europe once a year, giving workshops and concerts as an ambassador of Gambian music. He has released [nine] albums to date. Jalikebba is also a member of the famous Kora Kings, who started during the 1990s. Jalikebba along with Tatadindin Jobarteh, Pa Bobo Jobarteh and Lamin Saho are known for bringing Afro-Manding, a pop-oriented music derived from the traditional music of the ancient Manding Empire, to worldwide audiences. (Music in Africa)
Jalikebba Kuyateh … is exciting producers and crowds. He wants to reach out to people, touch their heart and reflect with them with his fascinating kora music. The Kora is found in all Mande cultures. It is played by the Mandinka in Gambia, Senegal and Guinea Bissau, the Malinke or Maninka in Guinée, the Bambara or Bamana in Mali and the Dioula in Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast). Though, it's Gambia and Casamance (South Senegal) where it has the greatest importance for social life.
The Kora has a centuries-old tradition and has been played at royal courts, where the musicians and griots belonged to the personnel.
The Kora was mentioned 1799 for the first time in literature by Mungo Park in Travels in the interior districts of West Africa as korri.
Jalikebba once produced his first album (Janfalla) which just hit the market, and again another second album (Nafullo). Jalikebba sings together while playing his instrument (the kora) and dancing this same time as well, Jalikebba’s songs are all educative, he sings about the society, education, love, peace in Africa and so on.
The Art of the Jali
The Jali, in French called Griot, are a members of the professional musicians caste of the Mandinka society, a large group of people in West Africa. Many Westafrican societies know this »singer« profession (Arabic: Qawwal, Wolof: Gewel, Fula: Gawlo, Moorish: Iggiw), that may be compared with the Troubadours in European middle age.
His profession has ever been a hereditary monopole of the great family clans Kuyateh, Diabate (Jobateh), Konte (Kanute), Cissokho (Suso) and others. Since centuries they have been court musicians, advisors and diplomats in the service of wealthy personalities, political and religious leaders.
His art is the Jaliya (»what the Jali does«) – instrumental as musician and vocal as praise singer, historian, genealoge, story teller, entertainer and more generally als carrier of the oral tradition. The men sing and play the instruments Kora, Balafon and Konting, the women are singers and play the Newo, a metal percussion instrument. Jaliya is a very complex connection of musical and verbal artforms, embedded in the social context of the Mandinka cultures.
At social (marriage, bapteme) and religious, also private occasions they are invited to praise the patrons with musical virtuosity and mastery of the words and to remind the glorious and heroic past of ther families. They should not be missing at any important event and they are also sought after as advisors and mediators.
The education of the musicians starts already at an age of 5 years, they are taught by father, uncle, elder brother or by another Jali family. When they are grown up they are mastering the instrumental techniques and the complicated repertoire of songs and instrumental accompaniments, praise names of all the family clans, historical facts, myths and proverbs of the Jaliya, much of that is improvised during the performance. The classical repertoire is very rich, some of the songs date back to the time of Soundiata, the great mythical king of the Mali empire in the 13th century.
The Kora coupled with the Mandinka songs is truly a wonderful experience. In the world where so much music is manufactured electronic noise, the music of the ancient Mandinka griots is a necessary alternative.
Jalikebba Kuyateh, the master teacher of the Jaliya Siiloo workshops, is a living Jali a highly competent and and experienced teacher.
The Kuyatehs were the earliest griots of the Mandinka people and were the historians of the ancient Malian kings. Their rich traditions of the Kora, Balafon and songs have been passed from father to son for over a thousand years. Jalikebba a living griot, is an expert Kora player, singer and song writer. He sings the traditional songs that his ancestors sang at the courts of the powerful Mandinka kings centuries ago.
He is an excellent teacher who possesses the natural ability and disposition to draw out the talents of most incompetent and least talented novices. His simplified teaching methods allow the novice of the Kora to play ancient melodies within a few days if not hours. He is a very patient and empathetic teacher who respects his students and supports their progress. He truly lives by his motto »The students' success is my concern«.
If you want to learn more about the rich cultural heritage of the Mandinka people and learn the Kora from a professional teacher then enrolling on a course at Jaliya Siiloo will be a truly rewarding experience.
Experience the wonder of the Kora & Mandinka singing at Jaliya Siiloo.