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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

Deep Roots - Acoustic Music Series at Bedford Public Library Sean Gaskell Performance

BEDFORD - SEPTEMBER 13, 2022 - The Bedford Public Library sponsoring a Deep Root - An Acoustic Music Series with Sean Gaskell performed Tuesday night on a West African Kora.

Sean Gaskell performs on a West African Kora Tuesday night at the Bedford Public Library

" I came across the Kora in a live performance, in my hometown of Olympia, Washington. I was just blown away by the sound of it," said Gaskell. " It is kind of contrary to what we play which was war, hardship, and battles but leaves soothing sound,"

" I talked to the guy who performed that night. Kane Mathias and after getting a Kora a few months later, and a few lessons with him. I came up with the idea at some point I would travel to the Kora's homeland. In 2008, I went to undergraduate finished that up, through my school. I was able to get a study contract and travel to Gambia, Africa. I studied there three different times,"

Gaskell went to Gambia in 2008, 2012, and 2018.

" This is extremely difficult instrument to learn with 21 different strings. The two Kora's brought Tuesday night were one in the Key of G, and the other the Key of F sharp.

The kora is a long-necked harp lute of the Malenke people of western Africa. The instrument body is composed of a long hardwood neck that passes through a calabash gourd resonator, itself covered by a leather soundboard. Twenty-one leather or nylon strings are attached to the top of the neck with leather turning strings.

To find out where Sean is playing go to his website at

The Acoustic Series continues at Bedford Public Library with Backwoods Bluegrass performing October 11, at 6:00 p.m., SALAAM Middle Eastern Quartet on November 17, at 6:00 p.m.

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