Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – The local band Ethiocolor is getting well known for bridging the gap between past and present by mixing old musical traditions with new ones and coming up with a new form of modern Ethiopian music.
The highly anticipated Ethiocolor debut album was released on Thursday September 25th at the Fendika Cultural Club.
The band that is known for their vibrant live shows combines the Azmari culture from the northern part of the country with other regional sounds, and by using amplified versions of traditional instruments, they are pioneering a new way of playing Azmari music.
Ethiocolor consists of three generation of musicians and singers using the Kirar (a kind of lyre), Bass Kirar, Washint (flute), Kebero (traditional drums) and Massinqo.
According to Melaku Belay who is the leader and founder of Ethiocolor, the goal is not just to assemble the best traditional musicians and create another folk ensemble but to demonstrate that the immense musical heritage of Ethiopia can be performed with a great degree of creativity while maintaining its identity.
Each musician has extensive national and international experience. The musicians and dancers have collaborated with traditional music projects, but also with jazz, rock, fusion, and hip hop.
Members of the band are: Yohannes Aferworq (flute), Anteneh Teklemariam (bass kirar), Nardos Tasfaw (chant/vocals), Dagim (dance), Endres Hassen (mesenqo), Fasika Hailu (kirar), Frehiwot (dance), Hawa (chant/vocals), Selamnesh Zemene (chant/vocals),Tesfaye Taye (chant/vocals), Melaku Belay (dance), Misale Legesse (kebero), Zinash Tsegaye (dance).
The album Ethiocolor is produced by Swedish producer and musician Andreas Unge and was recorded in Selam’s recording studio in Addis Abeba.