Wakilo means “enthusiasm” in the West African language, Mandinka, and is also a suitable epithet for this lively 8-piece funky Afroband. The rich West African music tradition is the inspiration for the band’s compositions, and most of the musicians in Wakilo are originally from West Africa.
Wakilo’s highly melodic and virtuosic music is largely based around the beautiful and delicate sound of the kora, played by the Gambian talent Dawda Jobarteh. The kora is a traditionel, harp-like instrument, often seen as an accompanying instrument at ceremonial gatherings, but here it is used electrified, as a lead and solo instrument. Wakilo mix different inspiration, from village music, through the dessert, to more ambitious “Dance band” styles, showing the influence of Salif Keita, Ali Farka Toure and kora virtuoso Toumani Diabate.
Some of the band members were privileged to meet and perform with Diabate in Mali, and also at Denmark’s own Roskilde Festival last year.
“The young and fantastic kora player from Gambia – Dawda Jobarteh has together with the Danish afro guitar player Preben Carlsen made one of the hottest afro-fusion groups in Denmark. The interaction within the group is unique at the local scene – their music sparkles of life and joy, with imaginative melodic lines, that intertwines into a tangle of cheeky intense rhythms.
It’s an intense and wild Afro-beat with virtuoso solos – a modern version of West African troubadour/griot music.
Dawda grew up in the town of Brikama in the middle of this traditions stronghold amongst the great kora masters Alhaji Bai Konte, Malanin Jobarteh and Foday Musa Suso who have played with musicians such as Herbie Hancock, Bill Laswell, Phillip Glass and Don Cherry.
Dawda Jobarteh : Kora,Vocal
Jakob Dinesen : Sax
Preben Carlsen : Guitar
Phong Le : Keyboar
Nana Osibio : Bass
Sal Dibba : Djembe
Modou Traore : Tama, Calabash
Deodato Siquir : Drums