The musicians and dancers of Fendika come from Addis Ababa and draw deeply from the well of Ethiopia’s azmari music, a tradition developed by itinerant bards. The seven-member group includes two dancers, two singers, and instrumentalists who play kebero drums, masenko (a one-stringed bowed fiddle), and krar (a five- or six-stringed lyre). Founder Melaku Belay is also virtuoso interpreter of eskista, or the traditional trance dance known for athletic shoulder movements that presage hip hop and breakdancing.  Though Fendika interprets azmari music of the Ethiopian highlands and dance forms from southern Ethiopia, Somalia, and Afar regions, don’t expect a classic folkloric presentation.  “My artistic vision is to present the rich musical traditions of Ethiopia to the world, while also including a natural innovation in our expressions. I believe that culture is always changing, but should also honor its roots and sustain that heritage while building cultural opportunities for the future,” stated Belay on WorldMusicCentral.org.

http://www.cadenzaartists.com/fendika.html
http://www.melakubelay.com/home

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