Skip the text, give me the music now
December 2019, Marathon of Celluloid, Pablo Assandri's Silent Movie Festival in Zurich, Switzerland engaged Jeroen and Melaku to do the side programs. Melaku though it to be a great idea to take some members of Fendika's house band in Addis Ababa with him. So we picked up on some pieces, practiced for a day or two, and performed with Mesay Abebaye on kebero, Habtamu Yeshambel on masinqo, and Sentayehu Tadesse on krar. The idea in having an alto sax to go with my bariton, resulted in Steve Buchanan joining as well. Of course, Melaku took the dance part on him, sometimes together with Steve. The sound was great, oriented on Ethiopian tunes with of-the-grid horns, and we even managed to get a song together during soundcheck [check it here]!
A new project was born, with great enthusiasm from both sides to proceed and develop this new sound. The band was completed with Robel Solomon on an amazing basskrar, the singer Nardos Tesfaw, and Emebet Woldetsdik and Melaku Belay as dancers. After two false starts in 2020 involving covid-19 restrictions causing travel restrictions as well, we were able to do a short residency with a concert at the Moods in Zurich in August 2021 , preceded by a week of development work in the beautiful Monte Vuala place in the Alps.
Here are a some fantastic pictures of the same concert, by our beloved photographer and friend Mario di Bari