Abebe Fikade leads this special ensemble of ‘Azmari,’ roughly the Ethiopian equivalent of the European ‘bard’ or the West African ‘griot,’ a master musician who retains a special place in the community as a conveyer of musical tradition. Fikade is both a vocalist and a player of the masenqo, a single-stringed fiddle that he plays with tremendous rhythmic subtlety, often in unison with singing that bears timbral and expressive echoes of North American blues singing at its finest. This melodic and rhythmic play is underpinned by dance-rhythm percussion that emphasises intoxicating three-against-four polyrhythms that animate so much African music. In addition to Fikade, ETHIO AZMARI features drummer Bereket Gebrekirstos, singer Sintayehu “Mimi” Zenebe, and –– to really keep the party going –– dancers Yordanos Behonegn Nuri and Dinsalay Gebru Yelma.
Thursday, 16 September, 6:30pm, GJF in the Parks, York Road Park, free
Friday, 17 September, 6:30pm, GJF in the Parks, Mollison Park, free
Saturday, 18 September, 4:30pm, GJF in the Parks, Norm Jary Park, free