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BSO: African Rhapsodies

The Hendrix of the Kora

Sat 8 Feb 2025

Artists; Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Seckou Keita Kora

Percussion; Suntou Susso

A majestic work showcasing a whirlwind of virtuosity, but above all a sublime poetic journey where music is pure emotion. Nottingham based Senegalese composer and kora player Seckou Keita is proud to present African Rhapsodies: an epic project created in collaboration with Italian composer and musician Davide Mantovani This enchanting work for kora and orchestra celebrates Africa’s magical 22-stringed harp and gives it the position of prominence granted for centuries to the violin, piano and flute. It makes us wonder if Bach or Beethoven might have composed for kora had they traveled to Africa in their lifetime. Seckou builds on that notion by way of his own imagination, which is greatly sparked by his lengthy fascination with crossing cultural borders.

Since arriving in the UK in 1999, Seckou Keita has been on an epic creative journey that has seen him broaden the idiomatic scope of his instrument as well as spread his wings, literally and figuratively. Nicknamed ‘the Hendrix of the Kora’, Seckou has been celebrated for his ingenious tunings and virtuosity and praised as ‘one of the finest exponents of the kora’. Performing all over the globe as a solo artist and with his ground-breaking quintet, he captivated audiences at WOMAD, Hay, Glastonbury, Tokyo Jazz, Chicago World Music Festival, Sydney International, Montreal Jazz Festivals and many more places.


The Future Strings Variation
Tatona’s Path
Distance, a Bird’s Eye View
Simply Beautiful Miro
L’Épopée Mande-Arab
The Shadow Left by the Invisable Man
Tamala’s Caravan Trail
Ode To Kanou
Missing You Forever