FolkTrip

ATSE TEWODROS PROJECT

A musical journey coordinated by writer and performer Gabriella Ghermandi, the only existing Ethio-italian band, several time awarded. The only existing group that has all the main Ethiopian traditional instruments blended with modern instruments.

Although a quite new project, each member is a professional musicians who has been performing in international, prestigious festivals since years. Musicians from Ethiopia are part of the Ethiocolor group, which was one of WomeX showcase in 2015 Womex . Ethiocolor has also been invited to play at the G7 summit in Munich.  Furthermore, some of them (washint player Yohanns Afework and masinko Endres Hassan) played with the master Mulatu Astatke, while others play with The EX (Endres Hassan and Mesale Legesse) as well as Imperial Tiger Orchestra, Paolo Angeli (Endres Hassan), etc. Similarly, the Italian musicians have collaborated with John Zorn, Steve Lacy. Butch Morris, Paolo Fresu, Vasco Rossi, Fabrizio Bosso, … and have perfomed in the bigest world theatre.

The Atse Tewodros Project is named after one of the most beloved emperors in Ethiopian history, the first emperor not of Ethiopian royal descent. He rose to power due to his perseverance and charisma, qualities that charmed the Ethiopian people to the point that they broke with centuries-old tradition and supported his accession to the throne. Atse Tewodros was the emperor who modernized Ethiopia while respecting its traditions. He was also the emperor who fought against Queen Victoria’s army and defended Ethiopian independence in the century of African colonization.

In December 2013, the Atse Tewodros Project recordet their first CD. It includes nine songs by Gabriella Ghermandi, Aklilu Zewdie, Inish Hailu, and Berhanu Gizaw. These are musical pieces in which the modes and pentatonic scales of traditional Ethiopian music, with traditional Ethiopian instruments, are combined with European instruments played in ajazz style.

The Atse Tewodros Project also includes songs from the Ethiopian Resistance that fought against the Italian Fascist regime. This is its way of reclaiming the past, both for the general public and for each individual, a way to describe the course of human and migrant lives and to talk about plural identities.

The Atse Tewodros Project won the World Music Network Battle of the Bands in March 2015, and after an interview in “A world in London”, catch the interest of Arc Music Record label that decided to realize the album. From May 2016 Arc Music label realized the album under the title “Ethiopia: celebrating Emperot Tewodros II”, and distribute it in 65 countries. Always in 2016 two songs of the album have been chosen for two different rough guide , the first one, the leading track “Atse Tewodros” have been choosen for “The Rough Guide on the best world music you have ever heard”, the second, the song “Be Kibir” have been choosen for “The Rough Guide on Ethiopian Jazz”.

The musical work had had excellent reviews in the international press and on various radio programs (see “Press” at www.atsetewodros.org), and has been widely heard and enjoyed in Ethiopia, with presentations on radio, television, and social media. The interview in the very famous program Jossy in the house  has more than 80.500 views: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H95TTIMpBiU

Website: http://www.atsetewodros.org

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