Sura Susso was born in The Gambia, into a family of griots. Griots, referred to in Mandinka as Jali, are cultural figures in society across West Africa who carry the cultural knowledge and identity of the people.
Sura started his lifelong study of the Kora, and a range of other percussion instruments at the age of four. His father, Mamudou Susso, is a renowned kora player in The Gambia, and his late mother, Fatou Bintu Cissokho, originally from the Casamance region of Senegal, was a formidable singer and percussionist. This musical immersion in such a natural environment as a child provided the solid foundations for Sura’s musical development.
Sura moved to the UK at the age of seventeen, as the percussionist in his brother’s band, the Seckou Keita Quintet. Since his arrival in the UK, Sura has performed as a solo act as well as part of collaborations, taking part in more than five hundred shows and festivals in over thirty different countries spanning every continent.
His quest to promote the traditional music from his cultural roots in The Gambia and his fascination with experimenting new genres have led him to perform and record in a number of interesting cross-cultural settings, including collaborations with the great British-German violinist Maximilian Baillie, Chinese erhu player Ling Peng, Indian sitarist Purbayan Chatterjee, French jazz trumpeter Erik Truffaz, South African opera singer Pumeza, Spanish-Senegalese band Africai, British multi-instrumentalist Pete Josef and an album with the duo ‘Askew and Avis’, called Kora Song Radio.