What the Carter Family is for country music, the Jobarteh family is for West African Griot tradition: a dynasty in which musical traditions are passed on from generation to generation. Sona Jobarteh’s grandfather was the famous Griot Amadou Bansang Jobarteh. She is the cousin of the famous kora player Toumani Diabaté and sister of the versatile musician Tunde Jegede. It is exceptional for a female kora player to become a professional virtuoso on the kora, as men are given precedence in this musical heritage. The kora, a 21 stringed harp-lute, is played extensively in the Griot tradition. Sona Jobarteh leant to play it as a small child. She stood on the stage for the first time at age 4, so it is not surprising that it influenced her career path. She was born in 1983 in London and trained in classical cello and piano. She gained an international reputation within a very short time, has played at numerous festivals and with renowned orchestras. She has also composed soundtracks. Her singing is as virtuous as her kora playing. It is not without reason that she is called “The Voice of Gambia”. She gently modernised her heritage and is at home in both Europe and Africa. Her pieces build on her ancestors’ grand stories. Preservation and innovation – this is the field Sona Jobarteh uses to fertilise her impressive work.