Al-Haji Papa Bunka Susso

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Alhaji Papa Susso is a jali from the somewhat lesser-known traditions of the Gambia. Born in Sotuma-Sere, a former bastion of musical performers, Susso learned to play the kora from his uncle, eventually…
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Alhaji Papa Susso is a jali from the somewhat lesser-known traditions of the Gambia. Born in Sotuma-Sere, a former bastion of musical performers, Susso learned to play the kora from his uncle, eventually taking his performance to Sierra Leone, where he also became a textile trader. Trade and music brought him Liberia (where he also gained a degree in accounting), both Congos, and back to the Gambia, where he worked for a decade or so for the government after marrying. In the mid 80s he branched out to the Gambian communities of New York and began a long stretch of performance and lecture across the United States. Since, he's performed regularly and founded the Koreya Musa Research Center in Sotuma, as well as writing a pair of books on African music. Essentially a traditionalist musically, Susso has released a few albums, the latest being Traditional Crossroads' Sotuma-Sere.