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Busy weekend at Arden Gild Hall with African Griot and The Sadies

Sona Jobarteh performs in the West African Griot Tradition at Arden Gild Hall Friday night.

Jobarteh is a Gambian singer, composer, educator and activist, and is Africa’s first female griot kora virtuoso. The kora is a stringed instrument, typically with 21 strings, and resembles the sound of a harp.

Friday night’s show is sold out, but Jobareth will also speak at a free event at the Arden Gild Hall Saturday on "Keeping Culture Alive in 21st Century Africa".

Ron Ozer is Executive Director of Arden Concert Gild.

"Sona suggested we do an event about her school in Gambia. She’ll be speaking at noon on Saturday - it has to do with African culture and music, and she’ll bring her kora to show to people, and there'll be a Q&A.”

Saturday night features an encore performance of the popular Canadian band The Sadies.

Ozer says keeping small venues like Gild Hall busy is crucial - for the venues still struggling after the pandemic and for the artists.

"They’ll play these small bars and clubs, even a hundred capacity, moving up to the 300-500 class. Eventually, they’ll get into the 1000 capacity and they’re actually starting to earn a living, hopefully. It’s pretty hard to make a living just playing clubs my size.”

Ozer says Arden Gild hall hosts between 20-25 events a year - and over the last century, its stage has been graced by performers as diverse as Lead Belly, Pete Seeger, and Burl Ives.

Delaware Public Media' s arts coverage is made possible, in part, by support from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

Karl Lengel has worked in the lively arts as an actor, announcer, manager, director, administrator and teacher. In broadcast, he has accumulated three decades of on-air experience, most recently in New Orleans as WWNO’s anchor for NPR’s “All Things Considered” and a host for the broadcast/podcast “Louisiana Considered”.