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Kebba Jobateh

Kebba Jobateh appointed Kings' counselors and oral historians who recite epics, poetry, and other
matters through their music and the musical instruments they themselves have created.
For example The Tama (talking drum), The Bala (Wooded Xylophone with calabashes
for sound box), The Kora (a 21-string harp with a large gourd for sound box also), The
Djembe, The Djundjun, The Sayruba Family Drums, The Bolong Bata, and many, many more.
It was with the help of Kebba's relatives (the Jalolu) that Alex Haley was able to trace
his roots back to The Gambia, West Africa.
When Kebba came to North America in the early 1970s, he pursued his education in
Health Sciences; but he has not been doing much with that knowledge (i.e. he is not
gainfully employed in it). The Pan-African polyphony folk music he learned from his
family pre-occupied most of his time and also looking after his own family.
Kebba's goal is not to be selfish but to sharing his culture with his countrymen and the
people of the world; most of all to enrich children's lives, broaden their cultural
experiences and provide them with a creative space in which to learn about Our World
and beyond.
After all who knows a culture better than those who were born, raised, and still lives in
it day after day for the rest of their life.
Kebba is a several-musical instrumentalist (e.g. djembe, djundjun, tama, kora, bala,
kalimba/sanza/m'bira/kangombio, kabuni/barimbau, oodo (udo), guitar, etc.), singer and
songwriter. Since the past few years the CKCU Ottawa Folk Festival has been revived,
Kebba has been the World Beat Stage host, a soloist, and a host of drumming circles.
He leads spiritual groups at retreats / meditations through the empowerment of the
sacred drums.

Kebba is a Member of the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals and a past Patron Member
of The Council of the Arts in Ottawa (Canada).
He has also instructed at Carleton University, the University of Ottawa Music and
Visual Arts department(s), participated and represented St. Lawrence University
(Canton, New York, U.S.A.) in a cross-borders seminar and/or symposium about the
concept of multiculturalism as pertaining to globalization and its economic advantages
at the University of Toronto. He has taught at the St. Lawrence University Faculty of
Music, Literature and African Studies (Anthropology) in 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001
Kebba has hosted, organized or co-organized and participated in many community
workshops, other festival workshops (i.e. Mariposa Folk Foundation Festival -
Toronto), some Folk establishment workshops (i.e. Ottawa Folklore Centre) and
performed workshops at many schools across Canada. He has been an actor / singer in
the making of the United Nations 50 th

anniversary video, an anthology of various
He has played in local and international ensembles in Ottawa, Toronto, Kingston,
Montréal, Victoria and other parts of British Columbia plus Trinidad and Tobago. He
has three ensembles of his own, which consist of a traditional (Folk) ensemble, a Pop
band ensemble and a Jazz (Fusion) ensemble and also goes solo depending on what
people can afford to pay for his services.
In July of 1996, Kebba performed at the Ottawa International Jazz Festival, an
anthology of Jazz musicians and a poet ensemble. Kebba and his Traditional (Folk)
percussion ensemble performed August of the same year at the National Gallery of
Canada's "Heartbeat" percussion ensemble series. He has also been a regular performer
at the Canadian Museum of Civilization.

Kebba has independently produced two audiotapes - one African pop music and the
other Traditional African folk music. He has recently produced two CD's of African
Folk music. Another - Jazz-Fusion - is on the way

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