Fendika to take Ethiopian sounds to globalFEST in New York

Fendika, an Ethiopian ensemble that mixes traditional music and dance from Ethiopia, is among the artists lined up to perform at one of the most influential events in North America in January 2016. globalFEST, a groundbreaking three-stage, 12-band world music festival, will on 17 January hit the historic Webster Hall in New York City, offering a premier gateway for emerging and established artists from around the world.

The Fendika ensemble. Photo: Mesfin Photographer
The Fendika ensemble. Photo: Mesfin Photographer

Led by the exuberant dancer Melaku Belay, Fendika draws deep from Ethiopia’s bardic tradition while adding creative movements and sounds. Fendika features six performers – two dancers, a singer, and instruments including kebero drums, masenko (a one-stringed bowed fiddle) and krar (a five- or six-stringed lyre).

The band is famous for its sense of humour and the perceptiveness of songs improvised for customers. It often sings about social and political subjects. Since 2008, Melaku Belay has led Fendika with a new spirit. He revolutionizes the artistic world of Addis Ababa by creating a place offering symbiosis between tradition and modernity.

Other artists expected to perform at gF 2016 are Mexican singer Astrid Hadad, Russian band Debauche, Lakou Mizik from Haiti, Mariana Sadovska from Ukraine, and Colombia's Tribu Baharú; as well as Ginkgoa (France), Ironing Board Sam (United States), Stelios Petrakis Quartet (Greece) and the Dhol Foundation (Britain).

Started as an antidote to xenophobic sentiments in the US and around the world in 2002, the first globalFEST took place in 2003. Over the years the it has grown to become an internationally recognized organization. And in 2015 Kenya’s Just A Band joined other performers from around the world to perform at the 12th edition of the annual event.

More information is available on the globalFest! website



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