The Music of the Month
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Dawda Jobarteh
Transitional Times

Dawda Jobarteh
Transitional Times
Stern's Music (

The artist writes:
Dawda takes his traditional musical training from his Mande griot upbringing in Gambia and with the help of long-term friends and band members, Preben Carlsen on guitar, Nana Osibio on bass and Salieu Dibba on percussion, creates an intense contemporary vision of an ancient tradition.



"Our Time in Tanjeh"


"Jamming in the 5th Dimension"

"Lullaby Med Jullie"


Your editor writes:
Dawda Jobarteh was born in Gambia, part of a family of hereditary musicians, well respected griots like Amadou Bansang Jobarteh, Dembo Konté, Malamini Jobarteh, and his grandfather, the legendary Alhaji Bai Konté. Griots learn their craft and repertoire as children, studying with their elders, but Dawda was an adult and far from home and family, living in Copenhagen when he first picked up the instrument, teaching himself the music of his youth, and composing new sounds in modern modes.

Transitional Times is a interesting album, a blend of tradition remembered and an immigrant's vision of new worlds. The music swerves from pure solo strings to jarring, modern motifs. He plays with pop and jazz idioms, but it always feels very rooted in the old world. A good example is "Our Time in Tanjeh" because it gently dances between tradition and today. It's about a fishing village in Gambia, but it is dreamlike, evoking his home in Denmark as much as his memories of childhood.

There are a lot of other approaches taken on the album, and I've included a few samples below that show you the breadth of sounds he and his small ensemble create.

Transitional Times is RootsWorld's Music of the Month selection for November, 2016. Subscribe to MOTM and you'll get this month's CD from Dawda Jobarteh, and support RootsWorld while you listen.

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The CD was donated by the artist and Stern's Music, so all of your contribution goes to support the magazine and radio show. We thank them for their support!

Sign up for Music of the Month with a 20.00 monthly donation (includes postage):

Buy a copy of Transitional Times and support RootsWorld
$21.00 includes postage, worldwide.

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