The Kora is a 21-stringed West African Harp. It is built from a large calabash gourd cut in half and covered with cow skin. This body serves as a resonator, from which a long hardwood neck and free-standing bridge extend. The strings are made from fishing line!
The Kora is played primarily in the countries of Mali, Senegal and The Gambia. Kora players – in fact, nearly all West African musicians – are born into their profession, as members of the musician class, and are known as jelis. Jelis play a very important role in their cultures. Not only do they perform music, but they also act as historians, genealogists, and storytellers within their communities. Until recently, all of West African history and knowledge was unwritten, and was maintained solely through the memory and words of the Jelis.
Will discovered the kora through one of his college professors, from whom he took private lessons. After years of practice, he made his first trip to West Africa in winter 2013/2014 to continue his studies. He has returned with several koras – available for rent – and is excited about the opportunity to spread the rich, beautiful music of Africa here in Portland!
You can listen to his kora recordings here: willdudleykora.bandcamp.com
To sign up for kora lessons, either email us ([email protected]), call us (971-227-4222), or use the contact form on our website. We will answer any further questions you have, and based on your address will recommend a teacher in your area. We will have the teacher contact you (usually the same day) and set up a free first lesson. After the free first lesson, if you decide you like the teacher, we will send you your billing information by email.
The Musicality Network is a Portland, Oregon based network of private music teachers, teaching a wide variety of instruments including piano lessons, guitar lessons, drum lessons, violin lessons, kora lessons, saxophone lessons, voice lessons, and more! Our teachers can drive to your house, and we service the entire Portland Metro Area, including Vancouver, Clackamas, Troutdale, Gresham, Tigard, Beaverton, Tualatin, Hillsboro, Lake Oswego, West Linn, Oregon City and more!