Welcome! I am a musician and educator from Greensboro, North Carolina, USA. In life, it is a privilege to be able to follow one's calling and still make some kind of a living. Here, you will see what that looks like. Thank you for coming, and I hope you will poke around to your heart's delight.


Sign up for my mailing list!

What They're Saying

"An excellent and rare source for West-African music and culture" - Dr. Gavin Douglas, Department Head and Associate Professor of Music, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
"I love your music! You guys rocked! The beat was awesome! It was so fun watching you play your songs! From, Madelyn." - Madelyn, aged 9.



Kora Duet Concerts with Sean Gaskell! 

Greetings everyone from the snowed-in NC Piedmont!

My good friend and fellow American kora player Sean Gaskell and I are teaming up once again for a couple shows in central NC. We've been working up a strong set of kora duets, and are excited to flood your senses with this wonderful thing that we call music, that has so much power, that can make us feel so deeply, that can change us at the core, even on the molecular level (studies show!).

Both shows are selling out fast at only 25 seats each, so if you are interested in attending, make haste in reserving your place! Details below.

Sat Feb 28 - 7:30pm - High Point, NC - DeBeen Espresso - $15
tix/info / Facebook event / DeBeen's website.
This show will be recorded for possible release!

To reserve seats, you can visit the Happy Beat Drumming website's Special Events page (click HERE to do so!). You can also call or email Robin Leftwich at 336-813-8110 / bountou@happybeatdrumming. com. Robin is a serious mover and shaker in the Triad West African drumming scene, and I'm so glad to team up with her for this concert. If you are in the NC Triad area and are interested in drumming classes or need to get your djembe or dununs repaired, she is the one to call!

Sun Mar 1 - 7pm - Durham, NC - House Concert - $15
Facebook event

To reserve seats and for location information / directions / parking info, email Sarah Howe at sarahhouseofclay@yahoo.com. She's waiting to hear from you! I played a solo show at the same house last year, and it was packed and amazing! So glad to return. Thank you Sarah and Randy for hosting me again.
And now, I know you all just LOVE videos, so...
click on the image below for a short YouTube teaser!
In the vid, Sean and I are working on a piece called "Batoto" at his home in Asheville, NC. We both learned the piece from different teachers, and are combining them for our duet version. Cheers!


New Album "Colors of Flying" has arrived! 

My new album arrived today! They look and feel great and I can't wait to get them in you all's hands and ears and hearts!

I'm about to depart on a short tour May 22 - June 1. Soon I will have information on where to pick them up locally or to order online, as well as digital downloads.

Cheers everyone; I'm so grateful for your support, and so are my teachers in Mali and Senegal, who are also feeling some love!

New Video Up 

I've been working for months on replacing this kora's wooden tuners with machine tuners for easier tuning. It was quite a journey, but here is the finished product. It sounds amazing and tunes very easily! Congratulations to it's new owner, Cori Roth, of Pittsboro, NC.

November 26, 2013 - Kora Music at UNC Hospitals 

Thanks to a program called Door To Door, I've been able to bring my kora music into UNC Hospitals. For 2 hours, Joy Javits (the organizer) and I went from room to room and wing to wing, and I played for patients who agreed and for staff who were amazed. I played in rooms, hallways, and at nurses' stations. I saw peoples' faces light up; I saw wonder in their eyes; delight in their smiles. I explained softly and with reverance my story of how I found out about the kora, and how I've been fortunate enough to be able to travel and study in Mali and Senegal three times.

It was a very rewarding experience and it opened my eyes further to the healing power of music.

September 28, 2013 - Got some stuff up my sleeve! 

Hey Everyone! I'm currently in the swings of 2 amazing things:

1. I have a wonderful collaboration called Friends Outside of Time.

Every year for 6 years, we've produced an annual show in Greensboro, NC called Rumi By Candlelight. Set in an intimate, candlelit space, we present Rumi's Poetry read by Adrian Vyner-Brooks over top a bed of beautiful, original music of kora (myself), piano (Betsy Bevan), vocals (Meredith Holladay), and pecussion.

We are now rehearsing for the 7th annual show, November 9th in Greensboro, NC and we've added a performance in Chapel HIll, NC on November 15th also. Every year our audience grows in number and spiritedness. Stay tuned for more info regarding those. Every time I go to rehearsal, i see this and I love it:
2. Collaboration CD with cellist and fiddle player Leigh Rudner.

Earlier this year Leigh and I created 5 pieces together: 2 classical kora pieces, an Irish fiddle tune, an Old Time tune, and an original kora piece I composed. The tunes are being mixed as I type this and I hope the CD will be available this Winter. Stay tuned here on the site for release and purchase information!

Aug 17, 2013 - Hello World! This Is What I Do 

Well, today is a rainy day and the gig was canceled, so here I am tapping away at the keyboard, putting up my very first News post, hoping to at least connect with you this way. I'm trying to gauge if I should re-head a djembe; I usually pass when it's rainy outside, but I've got several in the queue and I need to start crackin on 'em. Labor of love!

About the website, it's brand-spankin' NEW! I'm still adding content in bursts; next I hope to add a discography section on the music page with some interesting historical information on stuff I've done in the past. I'm holding off on re-doing the design because Bandzoogle, who hosts this website and provides the web design software, is supposed to upgrade their software which will hopefully provide lots of new design options. So, I'm waiting for that (and have been for months! Hurry up BZ!!!). Thanks again for checking out the site! I'll plan for a full-scale launch sometime soon.

In the meantime, here's what I'm currently looking at: