Sunday, 17 July 2011

The Six Greatest Kora Masters

Compiled by Suntou Touray

Lalo Keba top left and Jaliba Kuyateh, right.

Koriyan Musa Suso (inventor of the Kora) father of the Kora tradition
Karunka Tuman, he too was another great Kora master
Jali Madi Wullen, his era not far into the past

Wandifen Jali another renown Kora composer

Lalo Keba Drammeh, died not so long ago. He reinvigorated the songs of Wandifen jali.

Jaliba Kuyateh, current top kora player.

Some may say that, the likes of Tuman Jibateh and others are brilliant. However, the added dimention of being accepted in the land of heritage is lacking in their case. Therefore, Kora the instrument goes with its myth just like the Guiter, jembe and other instruments.

This is not my distinction, but that of reputable Kora masters.

1 comment:


In Jaliyaa terms, Dawla means someone accepted, famous, acclaimed, ground breaking and appealing, whilst Sawta means brillaint but not able to break grounds, neither gaining popular appeal. We can say, Tata Dindin is good Kora player but could not break grounds, Tumani Jebateh is good but mainly known in Europe..His father was also excellent but was also accepted in the upper class circle of Guinea and Mali...Dawla came from the root word Dawlo to be prosperous and famous. Some deeper Mandingo speakers can have a different explanation. In western terms, Bob Mali was a renown Reggae musicians, whilst others of his time fall short of his acclaimed.