Bai Konte

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Alhaji Bai Konte (b. 1920; d. 1982 or 1983) was a jali (praise singer) from Brikama, Gambia. He played the 21-string kora and is believed to have been the first kora player to perform and tour in the United States as a soloist, playing at the 1973 Newport Jazz Festival. (Les Ballets Africains, a dance and music group from Guinea, had first performed in the U.S. in 1959, and featured a kora player.)

His sons Dembo Konte and Sherrifo Konteh (sic) live in Brikama, Gambia. Two LP recordings have been released of Alhaji Bai Konte with Dembo Konte and Malamini Jobarteh. Jali Sherrifo Konteh has released two CDs, 'Mansalou' and 'Chesano', and tours the UK most years.


  • 1973 - Konte, Alhaji Bai. Alhaji Bai Konte: Kora Melodies from The Republic of the Gambia, West Africa. Recorded and produced by Marc D. Pevar; photography and notes by Marc and Susan Pever. Rounder Records 5001.
  • c. 1978 - Gambia's Music/La musique de al Gambie/Gambias Musik. Ethnic Folkways Library. Recorded and produced by Marc D. Pevar; introductory notes by Susan Gunn Pevar. : Folkways Records FE 4521.
  • 1979 - Konte, Alhaji Bai, with Dembo Konte and Ma Lamini Jobate. Gambian Griot Kora Duets. Recorded December 1977 in Dakar, Senegal, and Brikama, The Gambia, by Marc Pevar. New York City: Folkways. Re-released on CD by Smithsonian Folkways Records in 1999.
1982 - with Dembo Konte & Malamini Jobarteh, Kora Music and Songs from The Gambia, recorded/produced Ken Day & Lucy Duran, 1982, Virgin...
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