David Gilden African kora and mbira mixed with keyboards infuse a modern feel into ancient world music traditions
For over two decades David Gilden has been performing music on the majestic twenty-one string, kora, a harp-lute from West Africa. Gilden first heard the kora in 1978 at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. At the time, he was studying piano and jazz composition at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. After graduating from Berklee in 1980, Gilden embarked on his kora studies, becoming the first American student of Gambian griots Dembo Konte and Malamini Jobarteh.
Gilden has released several recordings that have been featured on NPR and on college radio stations throughout North America. He has been interviewed for Leo Sarkisian's popular Voice of America program, Music Time in Africa. The Cora Connection website went on-line after Gilden returned from this Malian musical adventure back in the spring of '95. During the 90s Gilden performed regularly with his world music group, Cora Connection at New England area festivals, clubs, and cultural events. Additionally, Cora Connection workshops introduced West Africa and its rich musical traditions at area schools and colleges. In 2002 Gilden relocated to Dallas-Ft. Worth Texas area, where his passion for music and his masterful performance on the kora has found a new audience.
World folk music traditions have been a major influence on David Gilden's musical development. Over the past fifteen years, his performances and compositions have evolved to include aspects of African, Celtic and Indian musical traditions. Complementing these ancient elements, Gilden introduces a strong modern flavor in the sound, reflecting his years of work with keyboards and electronic music.