Sefo Kanuteh is a virtuosic, soulful and authentic Kora and Balafon player from The Gambia. Having worked closely on major projects with artists such as Baaba Maal and The BKO Quintet, his drive to recreate the warmth of his home community in the UK is shown through his inspiring audience engagement during performances, as well as his various workshops throughout Europe teaching the importance of Gambian culture.
Bringing his love for community spirit from Gambia to his adopted hometown Norwich, he feels it is important to teach our Western society how to come together, support each other and to slow down, rather than retreating and letting societal fear define our actions. He says “our lives are so stressful and fast paced, and often so isolated that we often don’t even know our own neighbours! Gambia is poor, but everyone is still smiling.” His favourite aspect of performing is being able to share his culture with new audiences, inspiring them to adopt a more joyous way of life through music – so much so, that when he’s not performing or writing, Sefo also works as a care worker with a passion for helping people through tough times.
His latest release sees him launching not one, but two new albums in May 2021, as part of a project funded by Arts Council England. The first album, “Adouna”, was recorded during a holiday to The Gambia in 2020,
following a chance reunion with a friend & collaborator dating back twenty years. Adouna features a full band, and fully embraces and celebrates his Gambian roots.
The second, “Afou”, recorded in collaboration with UK-based musicians, is predominantly an acoustic album and showcases his instruments in a completely different setting – a stripped back visceral ambience, which takes listeners on a hypnotic journey through Sefo’s music. The album features outstanding contributions from Rebecca Waller (violin) and Serafina Steer (harp). Both albums are promised to come from a place of immeasurable passion and love for his country and its ancestry, and signify a coming-together of two very different cultures, a message that Sefo believes is vital in these times.
Sefo Kanuteh Website