Great Neck Library Sunday musical event: Sean Gaskell’s West African Kora

Great Neck Library Sunday musical event: Sean Gaskell’s West African Kora
Sean Gaskell

The music of the West African Kora comes to the Great Neck Library!

The performance will take place at the Great Neck Library at 159 Bayview Ave. in Great Neck on Sunday, June 4 at 2:30 p.m. in the Main Building’s Community Room.

Sean Gaskell will give a performance and educational demonstration on the kora, an ancient 21-stringed harp from West Africa, He will feature traditional songs that are the heart and soul of the kora’s musical repertoire.

Gaskell first heard the kora performed live in 2006. That performance by Kane Mathis, who would become his first teacher, inspired him to immerse himself in the music of the kora and travel to its homeland in West Africa.

The kora is traditionally played by oral historians known as Griots, often called Jalis or Jelis.

Many songs tell stories of war, hardship, love, and loss, all while presenting the history and fabric of Mande society, from which the instrument originates. Visits to Brikama, Gambia, and West Africa provided Gaskell the opportunity to study the kora under the instruction of Moriba Kuyateh and his father, the late Malamini Jobarteh.

Gaskell has presented adult, youth, and family programs at over 350 libraries and a multitude of K-12 schools, colleges, universities, and assisted living facilities throughout the United States and Canada. Learn more about Sean at his website:

Registration is required for this event. Great Neck Library cardholders and residents have priority for seating. Sign up online, in-person, or via phone.

This program is for all ages! Please register for each person attending. Non-residents are welcome as walk-ins as space allows. For more information, please contact the Great Neck Library at (516) 466-8055 or email [email protected].

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