Jaliba Kuyateh to rock Akasaa Int’l Festival in Vienna

Christened Gambia’s ‘King of Kora’, Jaliba Kuyateh will in June perform as a special artist to the Third Edition of the Akasaa International Festival in Vienna, Austria.

The Festival will take place from 12th to 14th June, 2015 at the Donau Park.

Jaliba Kuyateh Foto: Kiqi D Minteh, Afropé
Jaliba Kuyateh Foto: Kiqi D Minteh, Afropé

A workshop marking the official opening of the Festival on Friday morning will precede the performance of Jaliba and his Kumareh Band at 5pm onwards, according to organisers.

Jaliba, a Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) since 2009 will be sharing stage at the Festival with other renowned artistes such as; Kalan Group, Salah Addin, Jayasri, Mystic Band, Souldja Reggae and Mamadou Diabate. While Jaliba will be the exclusive artiste for the events opening on Friday, his fellow artistes will share the stage on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

In the buildup to the event, the ‘King of Kora’ has launched an official promotion via YouTube and Facebook, selling the programme to his fans across the globe. Speaking in four languages – English, Mandinka, Wollof and Fula, the Brikama-based artiste, who regularly tours Europe and the Americas, said “the event is a big one” and that they will deliver spectacularly.

The promo came hard on the heels of the first announcement on the event made by Jaliba in a December interview with Afrose.se following his new appointment by the Kora Awards in South Africa as its ambassador. Jaliba said at the time that his participation for the Vienna Festival was arraigned by his new manager in the United States of America.

“I have made some links outside The Gambia. I have made a name internationally and I am now managed by Cheryl Gross, who is heading an international promoting agency called Paramount Bookings in California, United States of America. She is overseeing most of my contacts in US and Europe. In fact next year (2015) I am participating in a big international festival in Vienna, Austria, and it is arraigned by Paramount Bookings,” said Jaliba, who was also conferred ambassador by the former First Lady of Senegal, Vivian Wade for promoting peace in the troubled southern Senegalese region of Cassamance.

The internationally acclaimed South African based Kora Award, which is likened to US based Grammy Awards, had tasked Jaliba to also raise funds for the Ebola affected countries in West Africa,

More about Jaliba

Jaliba Kuyateh is widely regarded as Gambia’s greatest modern master of the Kora – one of Africa’s most beautiful and complex instruments. With a wonderful sound – loosely resembling that of a harp – it features 21 strings (traditionally played with both hands in a style similar to flamenco and delta blues guitar techniques) – its joyous and hypnotic polyrhythmic sound is the signature of many West African music compositions.

Jaliba Kuyateh was born in Niamina Dankunku Village in the Central River Region (CRR) in 1957. As a son of the late great Kora Player Kebba Sunkung Kuyateh, he learnt to play at a very early age. His mother Aja Bakoto Mbye also contributed immensely in the development of this great musician, while Jaliba’s Grandfather, Wandifeng Jali was considered the best Kora player of his time.

Afropés interview with Jaliba Kuyateh from when he preformed in Sweden, you can read it HERE!

Hatab Fadera
Hatab Fadera

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