Jally Kebba Susso is a UK based Gambian kora player and composer.
In West African culture, the kora is the traditional harp of the griot. The griot plays a key part by bringing together the skills of a historian, musician, storyteller and diplomat to steer the community and its leadership to a better future. You can only be born a griot, inheritance being the only path, and Jally Kebba plays from a background of 74 generations of musical heritage.
Raised in a household of musicians, Jally Kebba was exposed to incredible musicianship from a very early age and under the guidance of his father the late Bully Suso, a very well-respected kora player and his elder brothers. By 13 he was touring internationally across West Africa, Belgium, Holland and UK. This early exposure and inherent ambition led Jally to his mission:
to expand the boundaries of the griot tradition whilst keeping its heart and soul intact
After settling to London in 2002, Jally’s musical horizons widened where he started arranging music – combining jazz, rock, blues and Afro-funk. He formed his band Manding Sabu – the essence of Manding – in 2007.
AFRICAN FUNK JAZZ FUSION
Forging a new trajectory of sound for the West African harp, Jally Kebba skillfully blends the traditional repertoire into his own heady jazz concoction that is immediately accessible and uplifting and yet filled with nuances and intoxicating rhythmical layers that give the music depth and intrigue. His songs, sung in Mandinka, call for unity and togetherness. They are songs of praise and love and are a timely call for togetherness and solidarity, palpable to all language speakers.
He honed his own sound over years of experimentation on the London underground scene since 2002 when he relocated to UK. In 2007 he formed his band Manding Sabu and has since released two albums of original compositions – Banjul-London (2017) and Malaye Warr (2012) and gigged extensively at festivals such as at Wilderness, Shambala and Secret Garden Party.
Expect an electric stage show. With ease and confidence, this band connects. Precision, speed and a merciless energy characterise their performance style making them solid crowd-pullers.
Jally plays solo, with his band Manding Sabu, and as a member of live African dance music group, Afriquoi.
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