WHO WE ARE?
Jally Kebba Susso, Co-Founder, Musician snd Host.
Jally Kebba Susso is an accomplished kora-playing maverick based in the UK. He is griot born and raised, coming as he does from 74 generations of Gambian musical heritage. But he is not your ordinary griot!
Forging a new trajectory of sound for the West African harp, as a songwriter and composer he has honed his own upbeat electronic sound through years of experimentation in the underground London scene since 2002 and as a core member of the musical collective Afriquoi. Jally’s electric stage show showcases his incredible musicianship.
Jally was raised in a household of musicians. Under the guidance of his father, Bully Susso, a well-respected kora player, and his elder brothers, Jally was touring Europe by the time he was 13 years old.
In 2007, he formed the band Manding Sabu, and they ran Strings of Fire, a highly acclaimed African music residency night at one of London’s favourite music venues Passing Clouds, for five years. Jally has released two albums of original compositions, Banjul - London (2017) and Malaye Warr (2012), and pre-coronavirus was gigging extensively at festivals across the UK and Europe.
His new album, Freedom, is due to be released in 2020, and is anticipated to be his punchiest offering to date. It’s guaranteed to push musical boundaries with kora, bass, heavy percussion, and sax.
Founder and Host
Janet Adams is a long-term enthusiast in artificial intelligence and recently completed a Master’s degree in AI at the University of Essex. A lifelong fan of music from all continents, Janet has an especially strong love for the joyfully infectious and deeply soulful rhythms of West Africa, and has spent many a happy evening dancing along at venues and festivals across London and the UK.
Professionally, Janet is a disruptive tech advocate with over two decades of experience in banking risk and technology. She currently works at TSB Business Banking as Head of Strategic Projects and Performance.
Janet’s experience extends across commercial and investment banking, and her resume boasts the likes of HSBC, RBS and Barclays. Combining her published MSc dissertation on Explainability and Accountability of AI, with her special brand of technology, risk and conduct expertise, Janet has established herself as a thought leader in AI ethics in banking. Janet is committed to the principles of inclusivity and strongly believes that the AI revolution will play a significant role in furthering the work of strengthening diversity.
Janet also loves countryside living with her many pets.
Sarah Rench, Co-Founder, Coder and Host
Sarah, also known as Rench, fell in love with West African music while studying for her Bachelor’s degree in African Studies and Anthropology. During her studies, while in Accra, Ghana, she had the opportunity of learning how to carve and play a Kpanlogo drum. Quickly realising she had zero talent as drummer or musician, she opted instead to study for a Master’s degree in Computer Science, followed by a Master’s in business administration specialising in AI and Creating Shared Value. Today she is Global Director of Data, AI and Industry Solutions at Avanade, and was longlisted by ComputerWeekly.com as a Most Influential Women in Tech in 2019 and 2020.
In her professional capacity, Rench leads global teams in designing, implementing and delivering AI products and intelligent automation across the full data lifecycle, using cloud technology, robotic process automation, natural language processing, optical character recognition, deep learning, and machine learning. Rench was also previously on the advisory board for the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Artificial Intelligence and presented on AI and diversity in June 2019.