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Ethiosonic and other Ethio-experiences

For several years, Nègarit has established itself as the leading orchestra of the Ethiopian instrumental scene, choosing to perform regularly at the Fendika [ፈንድቃ Fèndeqa – exultation, exuberance], underground and popular lair, hyperactive and mutating melting pot, rather than in the conventional clubs of the nice neighborhoods – which today tend to transform into shishabét (shisha bars)...
As opposed to Ethiopian pop songs, which always favor the lyrics over and above vocal or instrumental innovation, Ethiopian jazz has for the last 20 years or so received greater interest from a growing and noticeably youthful audience. These younger generations find in instrumental music, spiced up with improvisation, a pleasing compromise between openings onto other worlds and boring Ethiopian pop. The near or total absence of lyrics helps to erase linguistic differences or taboos. Pan-Ethiopian tastes and audiences, a far cry from the ethnic hierarchies of yore, whereas inter-ethnic violence is very much on the rise. It is no small paradox that the peaceable gentleman Teferi Assefa chose Nègarit as the emblem for his group. The traditional insignia of royalty and symbol of power, nègarit is the name of the drum which once called for general mobilization.
It is brave souls such as Teferi Assefa and his Nègarit Band who are carrying high, today, multicultural, pan-Ethiopian claims and belonging. Pay close attention to each of the individual talents in this combo. Other experimenters are getting involved in this stirring clear-out, such as Endris Hassen, Haddis “Haddinqo” Alemayehu, Sammy Yirga, etc.
It has been half a century since the release of the album Yekatit – Ethio Jazz (Amha Records 1974, ethiopiques 4, 1998). The Nègarit band is hanging in there, and in its turn forging a delicate path in these times of global epidemic and unacknowledged civil war. (Francis Falceto)
NÈGARIT band members: TEFERI ASSEFA: drums, percussions, bandleader; ABIY WOLDEMARIAM: keyboard; 
; JORGA MESFIN: saxophone; GIRUM GEBREMESKEL: saxophone
; TASEW WENDEM: washent and vocals; 
Guest Artists: FASIKA HAILU: krar and vocals [Tracks 6 & 7]; ASRAT BOSSENA: massenqo [Tracks 3, 6 & 7]; TOKATO MENA: chechizye and vocals [Track 1]; MEREWA CHOIR: vocals [Tracks 5 & 9]; MESAY ABEBAYE: kebero [Track 7] YONAS YIMAM: percussion [Track 10]
Tracklist: Emahoy; Arba Minch (Gamo); Lalibela; Yewelalia (Gurage)   
Ethiopia Danosae (Yem); Kaffa Chafo (Konso); Tedayo (Gedo); Guwayla (Tigray); Sabo (Gamo);
Filae Goferae (Oromo)  ; Saint Yared; Esay Naiye (Agew)