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Tata Dindin

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Biography

The 21-stringed kora has been transformed into a modern vehicle of expression by Gambia-born Tata Dindin (born Ebraima Jobarteh). The oldest son of influential kora player Malamini Jobarteh, and the brother of modern kora player Pa Bobo, Dindin has continued to build on his family's legacy. While much of his repertoire consists of traditional tunes, Dindin has brought a fresh vision to his music. Inspired by the modern Yenyengo approach to the kora, he performs with an amplified kora that he built himself in an eight-piece, electric band, Salam. His stage show, which features him playing the kora with his teeth and behind his back, has led to him being dubbed "the Jimi Hendrix of the kora." Describing a performance by Dindin, the Journal Franfurt wrote that "a microcosm of African traditions is woven on the loom of magical rhythms and meditative playing." A native of Brikama, Gambia, Dindin learned to play the kora from his father, who bought him his first instrument when he was six years old. He also studied with kora master Alhaji Bai Konte, who lived next door with his sons, Dembo and Bakaba. Dindin joined with German pianist Hans Ludemann for a Goethe Institute-sponsored tour of Africa in 1999. ~ Craig Harris
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