Suso, Foday Musa
- Jeremy Rich
was born in the Manding village of Sarre Hamadi, Wuli District, Upper River Division, in the Gambia. His family was deeply knowledgeable about music, as many of its members were griots (bards and storytellers). One of Suso’s ancestors was Jalimadi Woleng Suso, who supposedly had discovered the twenty-one-string kora usually employed by Mande-speaking griots. When Suso was nine years old, his father sent him to apprentice with an experienced griot, Sekou Suso. Although Suso’s father plied the kora and had actually allowed his son to play it, it was traditionally another male relative who trained young men to master the instrument. Suso learned to play the kora from 1962 to 1971 or so in his uncle’s village of Pasamasi in Wuli District. Suso had his big break when Scandinavian tourists to his town convinced his family to let him move to Europe in 1968 He stayed in Europe until ...