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Confluences East Africa Music

Fendika & K-Sanchis [Addis Ababa]

This project is supported through the Confluences open call, aimed at supporting a shared space for collaboration, creation, and documentation of new work between musicians who have an existing creative relationship.

Fendika & K-Sanchis

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In December 2019, Swiss saxophonist Jeroen Visser and Ethiopean dancer Melaku Belay were engaged to develop a side programme for the Marathon of Celluloid silent movie Festival in Zurich. Rather than performing as a duo, Melaku proposed inviting musicians from the Fendika Cultural Center – Mesay Abebaye on kebero, Habtamu Yeshambel on masinqo, and Sentayehu Tadesse on krar – to join K-Sanchis (Jeroen’s duo form with Steve Buchanan of the 13-year-old Trio Kazanchis +1) to form a band. A new project was born, with great enthusiasm from both sides to proceed and develop this new sound.

Following the success of this first session, Jeroen undertook a self-organised trip to Addis Ababa shortly after to record some sketches, which became songs. The artists decided to develop this into a record. After several delays due to the pandemic, the project could finally continue with another work session in August 2021 that closed with a concert at the Moods Club in Zurich. This was followed by another trip to Addis Ababa in February 2022 to present and develop the material further. After mixing the songs and improvisations over the summer, Fendika & K-Sanchis’ first release is ready to be rolled out.

To keep the collaboration alive while planning and playing concerts, the K-Sanchis part of the band (Jeroen and Steve Buchanan, together with a female reed player) will spend time at the Fendika Cultural Center from 23 January to 13 February 2023. They plan to develop new material, which they will record for further development and arrangement.

The Fendika & K-Sanchis band features:
Mesay Abebaye – Kebero
Melaku Belay – Vocals, Dance
Sentayehu Tadesse – Krar
Nardos Tesfaw – Vocals
Emebet Woldetsdik – Vocals, Dance
Habtamu Yeshambel – Masinqo
Jeroen Visser – Bass Saxophone
Steve Buchanan – Alto Saxophone
Robel Solomon – Basskrar
Third Reed Player – Tenorsax, Clarinet