Early in his musical career, Kane Mathis set out in the pursuit of exploring African music, and specifically, the ways of the kora. This led him to Gambia, the West African birthplace of the 21-stringed harp, to begin studies with one of the country’s most famous musical families, the Jobarteh. Since then, Mathis has achieved multiple degrees and honors, and has become one of the most accomplished American kora players in the world. Performing with a variety of musicians and ensembles, Kane blends West African styles with ethereal jazz. On “Sori,” from the 2010 release Cascades, Mathis plays his harp in the aptly named Portland-based ensemble The Kora Band. You can check him out in action in the video below.