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Dembo Jobarteh was born in 1976 in Niani Kayai, The Gambia, as a member of a well known griot family. He is a nephew of Amadu Bansang Jobarteh and Malamini Jobarteh.
Dembo was brought up in accordance with family traditions. As a child he worked in the groundnut and rice paddies, studying kora and drums in his spare time.
At the age of 18 Dembo was a professional koraplayer and singer. He went to Dakar, Senegal and played in restaurants and tourist markets. After two years he came back to The Gambia. Here he founded the Gambian Griot School of Music and Dance.
According to Dembo everyone can learn to play the kora. "But to play like a griot is a gift from God and, as we say here, a gift from the devils."
This cd was recorded at the Gambian Griot School of Music and Dance. It features Dembo Jobarteh on kora, on most songs accompanied by female singers. The songs are powerful and straight from the heart.
Note: Dembo's song Bunja Muta was a finalist in the International Songwriting Competition 2003. The USA-based competition received over 11.000 entries from 60 countries.