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Sona Jobarteh in Concert

Jun 27 / Thursday

7:30 pm

  • $20.00 Advance General
  • $25.00 Day Of General

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We are thrilled to announce that Sona Jobarteh, the world’s first female Kora virtuoso, will be making her debut in the Pacific Northwest right here at Open Space on Vashon!

Sona Jobarteh is a world-renowned Gambian musician with stunning mastery of the Kora, an incredible 21-stringed African harp that is capable of producing rich, lush melodies that resonate with delicious vibrancy. For the past seven centuries, the Kora and its mastery were passed down exclusively from father to son in griot families, a tradition that allows only males born into hereditary musical families to take up the family instrument professionally. Sona hails from a west African Griot family of renowned Kora musicians, but her undisputed mastery of the instrument broke through the male-dominated hereditary tradition and launched her on a path of international recognition.

Not only is Sona the first female Kora virtuoso, but her musicianship has garnered her a long list of accolades. In 2010, Sona was commissioned to compose a film score to the multi-award winning documentary film “The Motherland.” In 2011, Sona released her critically acclaimed album “Fasiya” (Heritage) and quickly found international success. The album, which established her reputation as a mature producer, features Sona playing instruments such as the Ngoni, flute, guitar, bass and percussion.

Sona is also admired for her beautiful voice, and in 2011 Hollywood film composer Alex Heffes invited her to perform as a solo vocalist in the soundtrack for the film “The First Grader.” Not only did Sona’s piece win “Discovery of the Year Prize” at the Hollywood World Soundtrack Awards in 2012, but she also performed it live in Belgium backed by a 80-piece orchestra. Sona’s rich vocal solo’s are also featured in the soundtrack for “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” (2014) and in the Hollywood series “Roots” (2016), based on the 1976 novel by Alex Haley.

Sona has traveled the world headlining major festivals in Brazil, India, South Korea, Ghana, Mexico, Tanzania, Cote D’Ivoire, Lithuania, Poland, Germany and Malaysia, just to name a few. She has also lectured at universities in the UK, US, and Germany. Promoting the arts in The Gambia is also a top priority for Sona——in 2014, she began The Gambia Academy of Music and Culture, the first cultural academy in The Gambia. The project is gaining momentum and Sona is now revolving much of her career around this pioneering venture.

Please join us on Thursday June 27 for a rare opportunity to experience the mesmerizing rhythms, musical mastery and enchanting voice of Sona Jobarteh! Sona will also be joined by her band:

WESTLEY JOSEPH: Drums & vocals

ANDI MCLEAN: Bass & vocals

MAMADOU SARR: Hand percussion (congas, djimbe, calabash) & vocals

DEREK JOHNSON: Electro acoustic guitar


Doors at 6:30pm, performance begins at 7:30pm.

Getting Here

Click here for venue location details. For people taking the ferries to Vashon, we recommend being in line very early. From West Seattle there are boats at 5:40, 6:15, and 6:45 that will get you here on time. From Tacoma it would be the 4:45, 5:30, or 6:30 boat. Click here to view the ferry schedule. 


$20 Advance General

$25 Day of Show General (available until 6pm)

Ages 18 & under are free

Online ticket sales END at 5:59pm day of the show. Tickets are available at the Open Space Box Office after 6pm day of the show.


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