West African Kora / June 13 / 6:30PM

West African Kora with Sean Gaskell.

Tuesday, June 13th @ 6:30 PM in the Library’s SAL Room.

This program is suitable for all ages.

The kora is an instrument that combines features of both the harp and the lute, is constructed from a gourd and has a long hardwood neck.  It originates from West Africa.  Sean Gaskell has been playing this instrument ever since he heard it in 2006.

Though harp-like in that it has no frets, the sound is percussive and plucked with thumb and index finger.  The tradition dates back to the 13th Century Mali Empire which stretched across much of West Africa.  Traditionally, the lineage was passed from father to son, but now women are playing the instrument.  Sean will share the oral history of the instrument, the society from which it comes, the songs of war, hardship, love and loss and even the language.

About Sean Gaskell: After hearing his first kora by Kane Mathis, who would become his first teacher, he immersed himself in the music of the kora and has travelled to West Africa many times to study.  He has presented adult, youth, and family programs to over 350 libraries, as well as schools, universities and assisted living facilities all over the states and Canada.