D.C.-based Ethiopian ensemble Feedel Band will be bringing the sounds of Ethiopia to this year’s 2015 Capital City Kwanzaa Festival.
The Feedel Band’s sound can best be described as an East African jazz, a merging of 1960s R&B and funk with traditional Ethiopian songs and instruments, features artists and music from the hugely popular Éthiopiques series on the Buda CD label that has helped turn Ethiopian jazz music from the 60s and 70s into a hipster obsession.The band consists of many of Ethiopia’s greatest artists who create original songs inspired by the Golden Age of Ethiopian popular music in the late 1960s and 70s— a time that had Addis Ababa littered with groups playing brass-heavy concoctions influenced by American soul and jazz.
Feedel band’s original pentatonic melodies are repurposed with mutated instrumentation like 60s and 70s-era Ethiopian grooves played on congas, electric guitar, bass, saxophone, krar, mesenko, piano, organ, trombone and drums. The members of Feedel Band are all acclaimed musicians in their own right Feedel’s sax player Moges can be heard performing the funky James Brown Band-influenced cut “Muziqawi Silt” on Éthiopiques’ Volume 13 with his ’70s group the Walias Band. Their bass player Alemseged Kebede’s groovy bass lines could be found in many of Aster Aweke and Tilahune Gessesse’s music. Also in the band is Araya Woldemichael who is the founder of the band, composer,keyboardist and a producer. They will be joined by Mikias Abebayehu on drums/congas, Kaleb Temesgen on e.guitar, Kenneth Joseph on drums, Omar Little on trumpet, Minale Bezu on krar (stringed lyre)/vocal,Setegn Atenaw on mesenko/vocal, Feleke Hailu on alto sax, Thomas Young, Fasil Bezabeh and Almaz Getahun on traditional dances.
Be sure to purchase your tickets for this year’s Capital City Kwanzaa Festival in advance to take advantage of advance ticket sales. Prices will go up at the door.