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.
In December 2022 we completed the horn section with the great young alto sax player Marina Iten, fitting in nicely in the horn arrangements. Electrified traditional music with a powerful horn section. Sounding great!
Proud we are as to release this first album with fantastic cover artwork by Ethiopian artist Tamrat Gezahegne, and further graphic design by Dutch Alfred Boland. Release date 1st of February at Fendika Cultural Center, but you can make your order here::
Our first concert was a ball!! Interested? Then have a look here on our 4 minute promo video.
Here are a some fantastic pictures of the same concert, by our beloved photographer and friend Mario di Bari