Join us for Melaka Belay and Ethiocolor’s ecstatic symbiosis of dance and music, of tradition and modernity for the first stop on their US tour. Admission is sliding scale donation: pay what you can: $5-60, students free. Seat is available indoors and on the lawn (bring your own chair for outdoors). Registration for this event in advance is encouraged to ensure seating and timely check in.
Livestream/on demand video will be avaialble for this concert.
Ethiocolor is part of Center Stage, a public diplomacy initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs with funding provided by the U.S. Government, administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts in cooperation with the U.S. Regional Arts Organizations. General management is provided by Lisa Booth Management, Inc.
Founded in 2009 by the charismatic Melaku Belay, who has made his Fendika Cultural Center in Addis Ababa a global gathering place, Ethiocolor draws deeply from the bardic well of Ethiopia’s diverse heritage. Their revelatory practice is an ecstatic symbiosis of dance and music, of tradition and modernity.
Nourished by diverse Ethiopian music and dance traditions and cross-cultural exchange, Ethiocolor presents energetic, free-spirited sounds and movements that are at once culturally specific and internationally resonant.
Ethiocolor routinely shares the stage with traditional Azmaris and jazz musicians. From this dynamic musical home, Ethiocolor also builds partnerships with international musicians such as the Ex (Dutch punk band) and Large Unit (Norwegian Jazz band). The band regularly tours abroad. Its CDs include Ethiocolor (2014), Birabiro (2016), and Dildiy (upcoming).
Melaku Belay received a 2015 French Medal for the Arts, a 2020 Prince Claus Award, and is a 2022 TED Fellow. Lead singer Nardos/Wude Tesfaw is the central character in Stand Up, My Beauty!, a 2021 European film exploring music and gender in Ethiopia. Invoking ancestral blessings and contemporary experiences, Ethiocolor reveals how Ethiopian music and dance have evolved to transcend time and space. Says Melaku: “We’re here to remind audiences everywhere of our shared human desire and capacity for peace, love, joy, and justice.”
They damn near brought the house down with their exuberant, dance-filled live set at the January 2017 globalFEST in New York. – ROOTS WORLD