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What ever happened to ... Pa Jobarteh?

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 3:03 pm
by John Bainbridge
I know I don't contribute much to the forum, and I haven't looked in for a while anyway, but I just thought I'd ask.

I was thinking abut Pa Jobarteh today. I saw him at one of the Womad festivals at Morecambe, when he was a kora prodigy aged about 10, I guess. He noticed I was reading a copy of Folk Roots - or it may have become fRoots by then, I can't remember - and that it contained photos of people he'd shared a stage with.

He was thrilled when I flicked a couple of pages to show him there were also photos of him, and he went to a couple who appeared to be looking after him to ask them for money to buy a copy. I took him to the stall, where the vendor also recognised him and gave him a copy for free. I guess he must have pocketed the money because, back with his guardians, he tilted back his chair, caught my eye, and put his finger to his lips.

I've never heard anything of him since, and I just wondered ...

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 3:28 pm
by Des
Is this the guy?

http://www.kairakundaarts.org/

If not, Vic Smith on the fRoots forum'll probably know as he's a mate of Jali Shariffo Konteh.

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 3:47 pm
by John Bainbridge
Thanks, Des. He's obviously a lot older in that photograph than when I remember him, but it still looks like him. The biography would seem to confirm it, too. Good to see he's still performing.

(Pedantic point - now I come to think of it, I don't think it was Womad. I think it was a festival at Lancaster. I think I'll have to stop thinking.)

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 4:16 pm
by Rod B.
I was curious so I did a quick Google and found this item:

http://www.sheffieldtelegraph.co.uk/mus ... 3944704.jp

which is about a band who have been collaborating with him. Seems like earlier this year he fell foul of visa requirements:

'When we were recording the EP we flew Pa Bobo Jobarteh (the kora player) from Gambia and they just wouldn't let him in the country (UK] – they put him in a detention centre and then sent him back so we had to record the EP without him.'

This seems to be happening more and more.

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 6:27 pm
by Chris P


Tony Bowring in the above article - no relation/ distant cousin Des ?

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 10:28 pm
by Nigel w
Pa Jobarteh isn't actually on it , but I'm just looking at the tracklisting of the famous NME covermount cassette that was the prime tool in the campaign that launched 'world music' as a genre in 1987 and there are an awful lot of names that fall into the 'where are they now' category.

In fact, the only name that is stll prominent is Salif Keita. Several have since died - Nusrat, Hukwe Zawose, Ofra Haza among them. But what happened to the likes of :

Yanka Rupkina
Kass Kass
Yiorgos Mangas
Abdel Aziz El Mubarak
The Real Sounds of Africa
Dilika
Sadik Diko & Reshit Shehu
Jorge Cabrera
Sasono Mulyo

PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 2:10 pm
by Gordon Moore
Are the tracks from the "famous cassette" available anywhere?

That must be a real collector's gem...

PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 7:24 pm
by Rod B.
nigel w wrote:But what happened to the likes of :

Yanka Rupkina
Kass Kass
Yiorgos Mangas
Abdel Aziz El Mubarak
The Real Sounds of Africa
Dilika
Sadik Diko & Reshit Shehu
Jorge Cabrera
Sasono Mulyo



Real Sounds of Africa's 'Soccer Fan' is still my second favourite football song - even though references to Gary Lineker in the lyrics somehow dates it in a way that mentioning Maradona doesn't. I remember Fatboy Slim getting involved in some way - either remixing or producing for them. But all of that must still have been the early 90s - not that many years after the release of the cassette.