From the age of 8, Josh Doughty learnt how to play his first piece of music on the Kora, a West African 21-string, harp. His initial lessons started at his home in Wales with his father Adam Doughty. Watching and listening to the melodic instrument as a child, Josh developed a fascination for the Kora and a desire to master this unique and complex instrument.
Having a natural talent for the Kora Josh was soon noticed by the Master Kora musician, Toumani Diabate and in 2007 Josh was invited to Bamako, the capital of Mali, to study under Toumani in his home. During this time Toumani became Josh’s teacher, mentor and friend. Josh would spend hours playing the Kora with Toumani, improving his skills and amercing himself in Malian culture.
In 2009 Josh returned to Bamako, having received an award from Welsh Arts International, to visit his tutor and was invited to play in Toumani’s band, at the famous Diplomatic Club.
Since travelling to Mali Josh has collaborated with a number talented musicians from Africa to the UK. Josh has toured England and France, playing to large audiences at festivals such as Womad, Small Nations, Shambala and Boomtown, as well as to more intimate audiences at weddings, private functions and renowned venues such a Ronnie Scotts. In 2010 Josh had the pleasure of working alongside the African Community Partnership Group in Swansea, performing at the Waterfront Museum in aid of Black History Month.
Having developed his own style of playing that brings together influences of both African culture and his own Welsh heritage Josh has been able to pass on his passion for the Kora and his skills as a musician, teaching to students at SOAS University and runs regular workshops at Basel Music Academy.
More recently Josh has been working alongside music producer, Mike Trim to complete his first professional solo album. He has also worked with Kenny Young recording several pieces for the Rhythm Del Mundo Africa Charity Album, as part of the APE Project, and has produced pieces for artists such as Culprate.
Josh is now recording TV and film music with Mike Trim along with a number of musicians from around the world. And has recently worked with Sampha on his new album Process.
Currently, Josh is working with Live Music Now, helping to share the joy of music and the Kora to those who rarely, if ever, have the opportunity of experiencing live music. Josh has also been taking the Kora further afield, frequently teaching at the City of Basel Music Academy. These opportunities have not only helped to progress his skills as a Kora musician but have also developed his ability to engage and relate to people through music.
Josh is able to combine the traditional rhythms of Mali with modern western influences creating self-composed pieces with a totally new and individual style that captivates his audience. His passion for this unique, complex and melodic instrument has helped to bring joy to all who hear him play and has inspired many to follow in his footsteps to become a truly dedicated and talented Kora musician.