Marlboro College

News Kora Player John Hughes Blends Traditional Rhythms and Original Harmonies

Nationally recognized composer, kora player, percussionist and vocalist John Hughes will perform kora music on Wednesday, April 5, at 7:30 p.m. at Marlboro College’s Whittemore Theater.

Hughes has created his own unique musical style, blending the traditional rhythms and melodies of West Africa with original and individual harmonies. Self-taught on the kora— a 21-string double-strung harp of West Africa—Hughes began studying West African drumming and dance with Guinean and Malian masters, including Famoudou Konate, Sekou Sylla and Youssouf Koumbassa, in 1992.

In addition to founding drumming programs at several schools, Hughes has also taught classes and workshops across the United States for the past 10 years. He regularly performs solo and with such musicians as percussionist Todd Roach and the world music ensemble Wakarusa. He has also recorded two albums, Kora Sutra and Live at Café Topis. Hughes earned his M.A. in sculpture from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and pursued his B.A. in painting, sculpture and glass blowing from The Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and the West Surrey College of Art and Design in Farnham, England. He teaches at the Putney School, Landmark College and in his studio in Brattleboro, VT, where he also builds traditional instruments and sculpture.

This concert is free of charge and open to the public. The Whittemore Theater is fully accessible. For more information, contact the Public Relations Office at (802) 251-7644 or For cancellation information, please call the Events Hotline: (802) 451-7151.

Founded in 1946, Marlboro College offers undergraduate education in the liberal arts and, since 1997, graduate study focused on Internet technologies. Its 330 undergraduate students enjoy an 8:1 student-faculty ratio, a voice in governing the community and individualized courses of study on a 350-acre campus in the hills of southern Vermont. Marlboro has been selected as one of 40 Colleges that Change Lives. (

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