Brighton's premiere resource for world music instruments, repairs and tuition

Fine Handmade Koras

We make and sell fine handmade koras, both online and from our shop in Brighton, UK. Les Shepard has been making koras for almost thirty years, and since then has been joined in making by Jali Mbye, himself a master kora player from the Gambia.

For ten years we have been supplying koras to the SOAS kora school. Our instruments are used by many famous players, including:

Sekou Keita, Jally Kebba Souso, Madou Cissokho, Sura Souso. Jabil, Cissokho, Jali Baka Conté, Dawda Jobarteh, Jali Lamin Sano and Fili Cissokho.

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Machine Head Tuning

Our Koras are made with contemporary machine-heads allowing for straightforward and easy tuning.

We can also offer a lever system to enable instant access to chromatic notes.

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Materials and Construction

Our koras are all made from high quality traditional materials. The calabashes and cow skins from which the resonating chamber are made are sourced by Jali from Gambia. The Calabassies are produced by Baboucarr Jobarteh helping to support him and his family.

The neck and handles are made from individually selected, straight grain mahogany. The neck is accurately machined to take the tuning heads.

As with all contemporary koras, the strings are made from high strength nylon fishing line.

Prices for Instruments Made to Order

If the instrument you want is not in stock we can make you one to order, prices as follows:

£375 for standard 21 String Kora

£875 for Chromatic style Kora

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