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Jobarteh Kunda - JPop.com
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Jobarteh Kunda

Jobarteh Kunda

Jobarteh Kunda


The long history of Kunda is as fascinating and exceptional as the band's sound and is reflected in its name. Kunda is the Mandingo word for clan. Each of its eight members come from different musical roots. Two of the members come from the internationally-recognized Griot family known as Jobarteh in English and Dioubate in French. The band’s co-founder, Tormenta Jobarteh, grew up in Munich and studied drums at the local Dante Augustini Institute. Read more on Last.fm
The long history of Kunda is as fascinating and exceptional as the band's sound and is reflected in its name. Kunda is the Mandingo word for clan. Each of its eight members come from different musical roots. Two of the members come from the internationally-recognized Griot family known as Jobarteh in English and Dioubate in French.

The band’s co-founder, Tormenta Jobarteh, grew up in Munich and studied drums at the local Dante Augustini Institute. He toured Europe, Asia and the US with various musical ensembles until 1987 when he made the acquaintance of musicians from Gambia. They invited him for a visit to their small West African country, which is virtually enveloped by Senegal. Tormenta’s visit to Gambia was a life-changing experience and one that continues to exert a profound impact on his life. It was there that Tormenta Jobarteh first heard the lyrical sounds of the Kora, or harp-lute, played by gifted musicians.

He spent eight years in Boraba, Gambia in the company of Basuro Jobarteh, his musical mentor, and Fulladou, the Griot of Boraba. It took him this long length of time to complete intensive studies in playing the Kora, and learning the Mandika language and culture. He became so immersed in his adoptive country’s culture that he was eventually adopted by the Jobarteh family and made a Griot, with all the rights and obligations that went along with it -- a unique distinction for a white non-African. Moved by this overwhelming honor and buoyed by his Kunda, Tormenta Jobarteh began bringing the sounds, music, and rich culture of the Mande-Griots back to Germany and Central Europe. He developed a new musical form based on his combined Afro-European history, which reflected a mutual understanding and communication between these cultural legacies. It was during a concert in 1995 that Jobarteh met Mori Dioubatè who was to become the co-founder of the band.

Mori Dioubatè is a member of the same Griot family that had adopted Tormenta. His musical roots were evident even as a three-year-old, which is when he started playing the Balafon, a West African xylophone. Due to his outstanding musical skills he became one of the most acclaimed and popular musicians in West Africa, performing as part of the State Ballet of Guinea, the Television Orchestra of the Ivory Coast, and as a member of Mory Kante’s band. Both Griots embarked on an adventure of collaboration, which gave birth to the band, Jobarteh Kunda. Numerous appearances followed, consolidating the band’s repertoire and reputation.

To fully realize this ambitious project, they gradually rearranged and modernized traditional songs and gave them new titles. By the time they recorded their first CD, "Abaraka", in the spring of 1999, the band’s superior line-up of top-class musicians led to international success. The song "Afrika" was even used by director Fritz Baumann as the title track in his movie, "Anansi". Thanks to the diverse musical backgrounds of the band members, and influences of other cultures and musical traditions, Jobarteh-Kunda have created a unique musical style interweaving the pure West African music style with its Caribbean elements with jazz and pop. It is precisely this fusion of sounds that makes the music of Jobarteh-Kunda so rich and appealing. It is inarguably World Music at its best, and is exemplified by its creators having performed as Miriam Makeba’s back up band. After two years of intense work and numerous appearances, the band now forms a solid unit.

Their new CD "Ali Heja" is a further development of the band's music. By omitting keyboards and sampler, Jobarteh Kunda have created a modern and compact sound fueled only by the power of acoustic instrumentation. Musicians Tormenta Jobarteh: Kora, talking drum, lead & backing vocals Mori Dioubaté: Ballafon, guitar, percussion, lead & backing vocals Sir Lancelot Scott: Steel drums, djembe, bongos, percussion, backing vocals Teddy Touré: Guitar, lead- & backing vocals Humphrey Cairo: Drums, percussion, lead & backing vocals Sabine Zeh Silva: Congas, percussion, backing vocals Phillip Johnbaptist: Bass Gerhard Wagner: Saxophone, flute, fulla flute Special guests: Miene Costa: backing vocals Muskini: trombone Produced by: Tormenta Jobarteh Executive producer: bibiafrica Recorded and mixed at Taptone Studio Munich by Johann Bengen Digitally mastered at GLS Studio Munich Illustrations: India Linhart Graphic Design: Doro Wachter Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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