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Located in Ethiopia’s capital city Addis Ababa, the quartet Qwanqwa (whose name is certainly Amharic for “language”) make an inventive, experimental interpretation from the country’s traditional sounds. Qwanqwa’s music is certainly radiant, free-flowing, and natural-sounding, as well as the music group utilizes exclusive instrumental techniques regarding distortion pedals and discovered items. The group started in 2012 after Käthe Hostetter, violinist for Boston-based Ethiopian funk group Debo Music group, transferred to Addis Ababa to be able to explore the country’s musical lifestyle and collaborate with regional musicians. The various other bandmembers are experienced composer/arranger Mesele Asmamaw on electrical krar (a bowl-shaped stringed device), Dawit Seyoum on electrical bass krar, and percussionist Samson “Sami” Sendeku. Qwanqwa’s audio is certainly primarily instrumental to be able to reach a general audience, however they possess collaborated with many Ethiopian performers, including Hamelmal Abate, Selamnesh Zemene, and Etenesh Wassie. The group in addition has caused many music artists including clarinetist Dawit Frew, Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love, and saxophone participant Jeroen Visser (who’s also in Trio Kazanchis along with Asmamaw). Qwanqwa regularly perform concerts in unconventional configurations to be able to reach viewers that don’t go to gigs at nightclubs or additional typical locations. The group’s 1st album, Quantity One, premiered on cassette by Chicago-based FPE Information in 2014. The label released Quantity Two on Compact disc and LP the next year.

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