booking arrangements, please contact Alhaji Papa Susso directly .
the United States and Canada:
Papa Susso, Master kora (African
harp-lute) player and oral historian from The Gambia, West Africa,
available for visits to schools, university campuses and cultural centers
in the United States and Canada.
Papa Susso hails from a long line of Griots
(traditional oral historians) of the Mandinka people.
He was taught the kora by
his father and has been playing since the age of five.
21-stringed harp-lute, evolved from earlier hunter harps used by the
Mandinka people of West Africa. It said to have been invented by the Susso
It is the preferred instrument of Mandinka Jalolu (Griot), itinerant
musicians, who were traditionally attached to royal courts where their
duties included recounting the tribal history and genealogy, composing
commemorative songs and performing at important tribal events.
Today Papa Susso is a goodwill ambassador traveling around North America to share his culture with others. He gives both classroom presentations and formal concert performances where he recounts the history of his country and his people, discusses the roles of griots in West African culture and performs the classics songs of the griot repertoire. Papa Susso He appears alone with his kora or with his ensemble that includes singer/dancer Tapa Demba, balafonist Bala Kouyate and his son, Alhassan Susso, on second kora.