Sean Gaskell will give a Friends of the Library fundraising concert on the Kora, an ancient 21-stringed harp from West Africa, in the Brooks Memorial Library on Friday at 7 p.m. The performance will feature traditional songs that are the heart and soul of the Kora's musical repertoire in addition to some of Gaskell's personal compositions.
The Kora is native to the Mande peoples who live within the countries of Gambia, Senegal, Mali, Guinea, and Guinea Bissau. The music is traditionally played by oral and musical historians known as Griots. The Kora is a melodic and seemingly peaceful instrument, which is somewhat contrary to its musical repertoire. Many songs tell ancient stories of war and hardship, while others praise people of high political status and those who helped expand the Mande Empire. Tickets are $10 or $8 for members of the Friends of the Brooks Memorial Library, at the library, the door, or at friendsofbrookslibraryvt.org.