Teaching languages: Finnish and English.
Originating from the area of The Gambia, southern Senegal and Guinea Bissau in West Africa, the kora is a fascinating stringed instrument with a beautiful sound. Playing the kora is becoming a more and more popular hobby in western countries. This is the first kora course organised at Sommelo Ethno Music Festival.
Teaching sessions will be run in small groups following the traditional methodology, without using sheet music. There are no skill requirements – we welcome anyone from absolute beginners to players with years of experience. We will find an appropriate challenge for everyone. The important thing is that we learn to play beautiful music together!
Now settled in Finland, Cheick Cissokho comes from a Senegambian family of traditional musicians. All men in the family are trained from an early age to become professional kora players. This beautiful and still flourishing tradition goes back to centuries. In Finland, Cheick performs in various ensembles, teaches groups of kora enthusiasts regularly, runs kora workshops and gives kora lessons e.g. at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland.
Resident in Kuhmo, Gergely Várkonyi has played the kora as a hobby for eleven years. His teachers have been Adam and Josh Doughty (The Kora Workshop, UK), Soundjoulou Cissoko (Guinea-Conakry) and Pa Bobo Jobarteh (The Gambia). Gergely has gained kora teaching experience as a member of The Kora Workshop tuition team in France and the WOMAD festival in the UK.
By attending a course, you get free entry to all events at Sommelo. Signing up to Sommelo courses ends on 10.6.2022 . Enquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org or, in urgent cases, by phone (00 358 40 179 8600).
A second attendee from the same family will get a 50% discount of the course fee.