Roderic Knight, director

The Oberlin Mandinka Ensemble is a study group for the purpose of learning to play the kora, 21-string bridge harp, and the balo, a xylophone, instruments of the Mandinka people of Gambia, Senegal, Guinea, and Mali. The repertoire comes from the tradition of jaliyaa, songs of commemoration and praise, performed by professional musicians.

The Oberlin ensemble consists of nine koras, two balos, and other instruments. Prof. Knight studied jaliyaa in Gambia and Senegal, and has been teaching and promoting the tradition with concerts and publications for a number of years.

The ensemble is offered concurrently with the Music of Africa lecture course.

Below is the Mandinka group for Spring Semester 2001
(click on the images to enlarge them, except the first picture)

FRONT ROW: Katie Hopkins, Adrianne Koteen, Roderic Knight, Bonnie Whiting, Zina von Bozzay, Doron Sadja
BACK ROWS: Sarah Buck, a guest, Justin Heiman, Arshiya Halaney, Darren Rebar, Mark Sackmann, Warren Herold,
Joel Corelitz, Audrey Cochard, Mathew Tinari