LINCOLN CITY – Sean Gaskell will give a solo acoustic set on the Kora, an ancient 21-stringed harp from West Africa, at the Lincoln City Cultural Center on Saturday, Sept. 7. The program will feature traditional songs of the Mandinka people from Gambia, Senegal, Mali, Guinea, and Guinea Bissau, starting at 7 pm.
Tickets, $10 in advance and $12 at the door, are on sale now at the Lincoln City Cultural Center, 540 NE Hwy. 101, or by phone with a Visa or Mastercard, 541-994-9994.
The Kora is a very melodic and seemingly peaceful instrument, which is contrary to a repertoire that tells ancient stories of war and hardship, while praising people of high political status and those who helped expand the Mande Empire. It is traditionally played by griots (oral historians). While the Kora is only 300 years old, some of the songs date back as many as 800 years to the founding of the Mande Empire, which took place in Mali in the mid 13th century.
Sean Gaskell has studied extensively under the instruction of Malamini Jobarteh and Moriba Kuyateh, both of Brikama, Gambia. He has also studied under Kane Mathis, a Kora player formerly based in Seattle who has lead groups such as The Kora Band and The Sahel Band. He has performed at the Kartong Festival in Gambia, the Dombondir Festival in Senegal, the Northwest Folklife Festival in Seattle and at various venues across the United States.