The Amadu Bansang Jobarteh School Of Music The Gambia's First Specialist Music Institution


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Amadu Bansang Jobarteh School of Music - Gambia's first Manding music school

Sona Jobarteh - Director Amadu Bansang Jobarteh School Of Music  

Sona Jobarteh

As a renowned international artist, Miss Jobarteh is herself a unique cultural ambassador of tradition. She is the first female kora virtuoso to come from a Griot family and tours extensively worldwide with her band, carrying the sound of Manding music to audiences all over the world.

Miss Jobarteh founded the school in 2014 when held a series of projects throughout the year for children between the ages of 8 and 18 years in Kembujeh village, the home of her family and her father Sanjally Jobarteh. Through these projects Miss Jobarteh wanted to gage how much children in local communities knew about their traditions and their music. As she suspected her survey showed that 92% of the 247 children she worked with knew almost nothing about the history of their own culture and instruments. This gave added conviction to her important mission of establishing the country's first specialist music institution that would integrate mainstream private education with focussed study in culture, music and history.

In 2015 Miss Jobarteh began her search for the first 16 children to receive a sponored place at her school. She held workshops across a wide range of areas where communities struggle to support their children to attend school in her quest to scout out musical talent amongt children betweent he ages of 8 to 12 years.

These workshops attracted up to 100 children in some locations and gave children the unique oportunity to experience teacher-based music classes where they took part in drumming, body percussion and rhythmical alertness games.

"These workshops in themself were something amazing for the children in the villages to experience. They had never experienced being taught or worked with in this way before and the happiness, excitement and energy that exuded from the groups was overwealming. Its something I plan to do more once the school is more self-sufficient." - Sona Jobarteh

In January 2016 Miss Jobarteh held the final round of auditions and seleted the 16 children she was looking for to start the school.

Workshops 2014 | ABJ Shcool Of Music   Workshops 2014 | ABJ School Of Music   Workshops 2015 | ABJ School Of Music
Workshops 2014 - 2015 in the villages


Sheriffo Kanuteh

Mr Kanuteh was born into a Griot family and his late father was the renowned and highly respected balafon master Banna Kanuteh. Mr Kanuteh became the apprentice to his father from a young age and over the years became steeped in knowledge of the history and culture of the griot traditon in which he grew up. He is today one of the most reputable traditional male vocalists in the country and regularly features in high profile events in The Gambia.

Mr Kanuteh has been working with Miss Jobarteh since the school's inception in logistics, promotion, directing, balafon classes, vocal training, and deputy project manager.

Currently he is the Head of Balafon studies at the school as well as the vocal coach and music history teacher.


Sheriffo Kanuteh - Deputy Director Amadu Bansang Jobarteh School Of Music

  Full-time Teaching Staff
Aboudlie Keita | Art Teacher ABJ School Of Music  


Abdoulie Keita
Mr Keita, one of Gambia's finest Artists specialises in design, textiles, sculpting and drawing.


Alieu Tounkara class teacher ABJ School Of Music  


Alieu Tounkara



Lamin Touray - Sports Teacher ABJ School Of Music  


Lamin Touray




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Amadu Bansang Jobarteh School of Music - Gambia's first Manding music school
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