Dawda Jobarteh Quartet
World music will always be the epitome of the uniting power of music as a bridge between cultures. The Denmark resident Gambian singer/songwriter Dawda Jobarteh certainly has a special position in this genre: He easily manages to merge the musical traditions of his native Western Africa with the ones of his adopted home Scandinavia, successfully transforming both into a unique modern overall sound between Folk and Afro Jazz. All of his three released albums so far are multiple awarded and regularly get praised by critics worldwide.
Dawda Jobarteh’s most recent third album „I Met Her By The River“ marks a career milestone in his artistic evolution. Symbolical for this stands his interpretation of „Jeg Gik Meg Ud En Sommerdag“ an ancient scandinavian melody from the 17. century, which Jobarteh tranfers to his instrument the Kora, a western african pentatonic harp, making it sound like an old western african song as well as Adele’s „Hello“, that suddenly sounds like having a gambian origin instead that of a producers studio in the Hollywood Hills. His fearless approach briefly sparks in his version of Mongo Santamarias „Afro Blue“ that sounds like Jimi Hendrix just had a try on it.
But Jobarteh’s execellence is clearly not limited to only the musical side: As a scion of Western Africas most famous Griot family, whose carreer as a professional percussionist started at the age of 12, Jobarteh was born into a family tree with decades of musical heritage. In the tradition of the Griots, the musicians, not unlike the blues singers, not only have the duties of keeping the music alive, but also to preserve and tell historic tales . So it’s of little wonder that Jobarteh’s lyrics are as empathetic and wise as the music of this man oscillating between the cultural contrasts of his adopted northern europe home and his western african native on his tours around the globe.
If you take a look at Jobarteh’s previous development it becomes crystal clear that one of western africas biggest musical treasures lies in Scandinavia!
Dawda Jobarteh – kora, vocal
Preben Carlsen – bass
Salieu Dibba – percussion
Francis Osei – drums