Fresh in from The Gambia, Mafu Conteh, a grandson of late kora legend Alhaji Bai Konte, has joined the international Mande music scene. In June 2022, Conteh released his first kora album, Sabaro, in which he plays both accompaniment and solo parts on his 21-string kora.
Bai Konte had four sons, Mamdau, Alieu, Dembo and Ba Kaba. Mafu Conteh is the son of Alieu Conteh. This family’s lineage is complex and loaded with talent. Most members live together in a large compound called Jalikunda in Brikama, Gambia, where Mafu Conteh grew up. He began playing balafon at the age of six, and went on to study kora with his maternal grandfather, Mohamed Susso.
Sabaro is now available on Bandcamp. The album was recorded in Brikama, and edited and mixed by David Gilden of Cora Connection.