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Atse Tewodros Project in Ethiopia and Tanzania for the launch of its new concept album "Maqeda"

Gabriella Ghermandi's Italian-Ethiopian ensemble in concert in Addis Ababa and at the Sauti za Busara Festival in Zanzibar. February 7 and 11

Atse Tewodros Project is a collective of Italian and Ethiopian traditional musicians born from an idea by Gabriella Ghermandi, Ethio-Italian singer, writer and performer based in Bologna.

It is the only existent Italian-Ethiopian band, and has received various international recognitions. Its artistic programme intends to respect traditional Ethiopian music while opening it up to dialogue and exchange. In fact, the group creates pieces of Ethiopian music with jazz inserts, produced according to the tradition of different ethnic groups, with songs in eight different languages.

In 2022 Atse Tewodros Project recorded the concept album “Maqeda” (Ethiopian name of the Queen of Sheba), second work of a project entirely dedicated to the female figures of the Ethiopian history and mythology. It is the result of a scrupulous ethno-musicological research, developed since 2018 with residencies, concerts, exchanges and collaborations in the creation of lyrics and songs.

The album was produced with the collaboration from the Embassy of Italy and the Italian Cultural Institute in Addis Ababa, and the Institute will host the album launch concert in Ethiopia on February 7, at the ‘G. Verdi’ Auditorium.

And since Atse Tewodros Project is a musical project open to different creative spaces and artistic experiences, the Addis Ababa concert programme will also feature some pieces of the Italian popular tradition performed by inserting Ethiopian traditional instruments. An innovative exchange, as up to now the ensemble has performed live only original pieces, inspired by the Ethiopian tradition.

The activities in Addis Ababa include a workshop at the Addis Ababa University with the students of the Yared School of Music (February 6).
Moreover, in the previous days, the group will experience the local music scene performing two jam sessions at the Fendika cultural centre – 'home' of traditional Ethiopian music.
The concert and the album will also be promoted in radio interviews with Gabriella Ghermandi by two local broadcasters.

After Ethiopia, the tour continues in Tanzania. On February 11 the ensemble will be guests of the Sauti za Busara Festival in Zanzibar, the longest running festival in Africa, which this year celebrates 20.

The theme for this special edition is “Tofauti Zetu, Utajiri Wetu” (Diversity is Our Strength). Celebrating live music from across Africa and beyond in 30 concerts, the festival’s spotlight will once again be on women artists, young and emerging talents.

One of the pieces by Aste Tewodros Project (Lucy, dedicated to the first hominid) was chosen as the "symbol song" of the Festival, and will be performed together with internationally known female musicians and singers leading other groups.

This will be an opportunity for the creation of collaborations and future possibilities, also explored by participating in the "Movers & Shakers" music market in meetings organized by Dhow Countries Music Academy.

The tour is supported by the Embassy of Italy in Addis Ababa, the Italian Cultural Institute in Addis Ababa, the Embassy of Italy in Dar Es Salaam, Emilia-Romagna Region and ATER Fondazione.


Sauti za Busara Festival

Atse Tewodros Project

Ater Fondazione

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