Dawda Jobarteh / Stefan Pasborg – Live In Turku (May 10th, 2024)

Release: May 10, 2024

Gambian kora virtuoso Dawda Jobarteh and Danish master drummer Stefan Pasborg join forces to release their exhilarating live album, ‘Live In Turku’. A captivating fusion of traditional West African sounds and contemporary improvisation, the record is set to release on April Records on May 10th.

Jobarteh was born and raised in Brikama, Gambia into a musical legacy – his uncle and grandfather before him are recognized as great masters of the kora. Initially learning calabash and all other kinds of percussion at the feet of his uncle, it wasn’t until Dawda’s travels to Denmark that he picked up the 21-stringed kora. He’s since gone on to tour worldwide with the famous Pierre Dørge & New Jungle Orchestra and release five albums under his own name to rave reviews from leading magazines such as Songlines.

Stefan Pasborg is a world class drummer with a deep understanding of African music few western musicians possess, evidenced by his many collaborations with the likes of Morocco’s Majid Bekkas and their joint project Magic Spirit Quartet.

Drawing on their rich musical backgrounds and extensive experience, Jobarteh and Pasborg deliver an electrifying performance that transcends borders and genres. Recorded during a mesmerizing live set at a festival in Turku, Finland in April of 2023, the album captures the essence of their collaborative spirit and explorative energy.

A followup to their landmark 2016 release ‘DUO’, at the heart of ‘Live In Turku’ lies a deep connection between two extraordinary musicians. Jobarteh brings his soul-stirring melodies and innovative approach to the traditional instrument – going electric and drawing from the explosive energy of Jimi Hendrix in jangling improvisations soaked in psychedelic futurism. Meanwhile, Pasborg, renowned for his dynamic drumming style and eclectic musical palette sits somewhere between Art BlakeyMitch Mitchell and John Bonham, providing a rhythmic foundation that propels the music to new heights.

The album’s repertoire spans a diverse range of influences, from traditional West African rhythms to contemporary jazz and beyond. Tracks such as ‘Togo’, first recorded in 1979 by a band of Ornette Coleman alumni, pay homage to the Jazz’s origins in African music, while originals like ‘Communication of a Kind’ showcase the duo’s improvisational prowess and boundless creativity.

Line up

Dawda Jobarteh | Kora
Stefan Pasbord | Drums

Track Listing

Folkman
Better Git it in Your Soul
Togo
Communication of a Kind
I Met Her by the River
Go Daw
Bamananyanke