We are happy to release a short video, presenting the great musicians that are featured on our latest Afropentatonism release.
No introduction is needed for Alhousseini Anivolla, desert bluesman from Niger. Born and raised in the Sahara, he belongs to the Kel Tamashek people, also known as Tuareg, and he has been representing their rich cultural heritage around the world since his early beginning. '' This project ( Afropentatonism) is very important for us to show the rich culture of different African countries.'' said Alhousseini when we caught him backstage before his Nairobi show two years ago, during the time when Afropentatonism was recorded. ''People should know about Africa´s richness. And if we put this together, it will be very valuable. This project should encourage people to keep cultural heritage alive, to keep the respect for our identity alive. Respect for each other will support peaceful cohabitation.''
Girum Mezmur is a guitarist who has grown to become one of the leading musicians in the current Ethiopian music scene. He has also contributed significantly to the development of young African talents by conducting educational workshops in Ethiopia, Burundi, Djibouti, and Ghana. As a guitarist, Girum has performed with the Who’s Who of the Ethiopian music including Aster Awoke, Tewodros Tadesse, Ali Birra, Teddy Afro, and Mahmoud Ahmed. About Afropentatonism he says "This project brings to you a medley of Ethiopian as well as Niger Touareg music in a unique collaboration."
Ayele Mamo is a legendary Ethiopian musician who composed a number of great Ethiopian hits in the 1950s and 60s. As a mandolin player, he has collaborated with the most prominent singers of those times and he has performed in Cuba, Europe and Africa. He was also a member of the Imperial Body Guard Orchestra in the 1960s and the sound of his mandolin was an integral part of that era. ''It’s an honor for me to perform with these young and talented musicians of today'' he says about his Afropentatonism fellows. '' We’re having a great time! Music is my life and that is not an understatement!''
On percussion, we find Misale Legesse, a versatile young musician who is very much active both in the Ethiopian traditional as well as contemporary music scene. He has performed with the acclaimed Ethiopian traditional group “Ethiocolor” with whom he toured worldwide, as well as with the Europe-based band “The EX” and he has appeared at major festivals and venues. In addition to various percussions, Misale is known to play the Kebero, the traditional Ethiopian drums, which he started playing when he was 13 years old.
Habtamu Yeshambel started by learning Ethiopian traditional music in the ALMA Youth Circus group for five years and then in 2005 went on to perform professionally the Masinko. In the course of his carrier, he has played and recorded with several well known Ethiopian artists, bands and projects and has toured extensively in Africa, the Middle East, Europe and North America. ''Masinko is a traditional one-stringed Ethiopian instrument similar to the violin often used in Ethiopian social events such as weddings. It is becoming more and more popular in contemporary music settings. I love my Masinko! I hope you enjoy our music!''
Anteneh (a.k.a Bubu) Teklemariam started playing music professionally in 2000 as a Bass and lead Krar player. In Folk Ethiopian mythology, Krar is called the Devil's instrument and recounts its genesis as an act of jealousy by the Devil who resented the Begana, the 10-string lyre made by God. The young talented Anteneh was discovered and mentored by his fellow mandolinist Ayele Mamo. Since then Anteneh has performed in several musical projects and has toured in Africa, the Middle East and Europe.
Afropentatonism was released on Piranha Records as a high quality 180g vinyl & CD on July 3, 2020 and was funded by MusicBoard Berlin.