Salieu Suso: Kora Player and Historian

Salieu Suso (Photo by Roxanne Scott for Voices of NY)

Salieu Suso (Photo by Roxanne L. Scott for Voices of NY)

Musician Salieu Suso hails from The Gambia, a small country in West Africa. He’s performed all over the globe including the Americas, Africa and Europe. He plays the kora, or West African harp, an instrument made out of calabash and cow hide. The towering, 21-string instrument is played by the Mandinka ethnic group in countries such as Senegal, Guinea, Mali and The Gambia.

Kora players aren’t just musicians but also historians and genealogists, tracing stories back hundreds of years in the past. Salieu Suso visited the CUNY School of Journalism for an interview for the AudioFiles Podcast in November 2014.

In this edited interview with Roxanne L. Scott, he talks about how he manages to learn all of this history in order to teach it to the next generation, particularly his daughter.

Chad Bernhard recorded and mixed the interview.

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