Sidiki Jobarteh started playing Calabash from the age of 3, joining rehearsals and learning the traditional repertoire with his mother, Sona Jobarteh the Kora virtuoso. Djimbe lessons followed from age of 5 with Guinean and Ghanaian drum tutors.
His first stage performance was at 4 years old, in 2011 with Sona and her Griot father Sanjally Jobarteh in Camden Town, London. He went on to appear at the Africa Festival in Germany in 2012 age 5, playing Djimbe. Sidiki continued to perform Djimbe at festivals with Sona over the following years, then joining The Gambia Academy in 2014, he took up the Balafon when he reached 8 years old. He made his stage debut as a Balafon player at the Africa Festival (Germany) in 2018 age 11. Since then Balafon has been his main instrument, while he continued to study and deepen his knowledge and playing skills with his teachers in Gambia.
He now studies Piano, Guitar and Composition in addition to the Balafon and drums. He has had a unique and privileged musical journey learning both the traditional ways in The Gambia whilst simultaneously studying from his mother’s intensive instrumental curriculum that she developed over 10 years, teaching SOAS university students. In addition, he has been mentored by Sona’s band members during long periods of touring.
Having played at Shambala 2022 with Sona, we are thrilled to welcome Sidiki back for his solo show.