Josh Doughty began playing the kora (a west African 21-stringed harp) when he was eight years old. First learning from his father, Adam Doughty, Josh soon developed a fascination for the instrument and would practice for hours on end, rewinding and replaying cassette tapes of kora masters and figuring out how to play along.
As a teenager, his exceptional talent was spotted by Malian kora legend Toumani Diabate, who invited Josh to visit him in Mali to deepen his learning. Josh made his first trip to Mali in 2007, aged 17, and since then he has made countless extended visits to Mali and the neighbouring regions, embedding himself in the culture and traditions of West Africa. In this time, Toumani has become Josh’s teacher, mentor and friend.
Over the past decade, Josh has collaborated with a number of leading musicians from Africa and Europe, including Sampha on his Mercury Prize winning album, Process. He has played at prestigious venues including the Royal Albert Hall, St James’ Palace, the renowned Le Diplomate club in Mali and several UK festivals including WOMAD, Tribe of Doris, Tropical Pressure and Shambala. Winner of the World music category at the Welsh International Harp Festival in 2018, Josh also has been featured in Songlines Magazine and has delivered a TEDx talk on his life and his music.
Now living in Bristol, UK, Josh teaches, plays and creates his own music. As well as teaching private students, Josh runs a regular workshop at Basel Music Academy in Switzerland and residential workshops in the UK as part of his co-founded venture, Korason Workshops. He also works with Live Music Now, providing music therapy to people in hospitals, care homes, hospices and special schools.
Josh combines traditional rhythms with modern Western influences, composing pieces with an accomplished individual style that captivates his audience. His passion for this unique, complex and mesmerizing instrument earns him a rightful place amongst a new generation of kora players, and brings joy to all who hear him play.