Monday, April 10, 2017

Ethiopia's first rock band, blending rock with African sounds

(Apr 10, 2017, (Daily Mail)--At a hotel in Addis Ababa well-known for hosting jazz greats, thousands of fans lined up on a Saturday night to headbang along with what is still a rarity in Ethiopia's diverse music scene -- a rock band.

Jano, named after a popular item of traditional clothing, has made a name for itself in Africa's second most populous country, as well as abroad, by blending local styles of music with Western rock and roll. "We're trying to make something very, very different," said Hailu Amerga, one of four vocalists in the eight-piece, mixed ensemble, that also features a drummer, keyboard player, guitarist and bassist.

"Rock, it was really far away from our country, and it's not our tradition," he said. Ethiopian music is generally known for its distinctly non-Western scales and instrumentation, and is a staple of the nightlife in the Ethiopian capital.

At open-air beer gardens, young people dance shoulder-shaking jigs to playlists that alternate between Ethiopian singers and hip-hop hits by west African artists like Sarkodie and Davido. Read the complete story at Daily Mail »

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