Monday, May 25, 2020

Veteran Kora Player Dies

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With MUHAMMED S. BAH

Welcome to another Edition of Arts & Music, the Column that seeks to promote Arts, Music and Culture in the country. In today’s edition of the Column, we will feature the late Kora player Solo Cissokho, and Black Thunder’s view on discipline in lyrics. The Senegambian kora maestro died last week Friday in Oslo, Norway.

Solo Cissokho, a jazz and mbalax musician was born in 1963 in Ziguinchor, Senegal. The international musician was well known for his artistic skills in playing Kora, Djembe, guitar and bass. An award-winning Senegalese kora maestro, Solo found Norway to be his musical home, and established a base from where he traveled extensively to expand and explore the sonic possibilities of his African harp.

During his lifetime, the late Sole received the BBC World Music Awards, and was nominated to the Nordic Council’s Music Prize, released hailed albums, played with Youssou N’Dour and Ali Farka Touré and toured relentlessly in Norway and other regions of Europe. Cissokho came a long way since he built his first kora at the age of seven.

Cissokho, believed to be a son of the late Kora legend Sunjulu Cissokho, belonged to the Mandinka language grouping and hailed from Ziguinchor in Casamance. He was born to a family that has seen the art of kora playing passed on in their families from generation to generation. He was well known in The Gambia too.

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The following was a tribute to the late Ibrahima Solo Cissokho, from Gambia House.
‘‘Gambia House sends its deepest condolences and tribute to the family members of the artist and relatives. Solo made a significant impact in shaping modern Kora and African culture in Norway. A great musician has left us, and we pay tribute not just to what he gave us while he was here, but what he has left us to discover. We always get new experience each time we listen and watch him play. The most important thing to the late Solo was his people, his culture and tradition. And this is what he represented. He was a brilliant and unique Kora player who was alive in his music, thoughtful, inquisitive, gracious and above all, pure.
Solo was an extremely gifted performer and Kora player. He was larger than life, larger than the stage, and larger than the Kora he played. We will always remember Solo’s supreme talent through the music he left behind.
Our deepest condolence goes to his family both in Norway and Senegal, all Gambians and Senegalese, and the entire African and Norwegian communities.

Solo played at the Opening Ceremony of the Gambia House’s 1st Nordic Gambian Diaspora Investment Forum last October 2018.
Rest in peace Solo!
May God grant you Jannah and rest in eternal peace!
So till we meet dear brother!!!’’

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