Fendika, an Ethiopian ensemble that mixes traditional music and dance from Ethiopia, is among the artists lined up to perform at one of the most influential events in North America in January 2016. globalFEST, a groundbreaking three-stage, 12-band world music festival, will on 17 January hit the historic Webster Hall in New York City, offering a premier gateway for emerging and established artists from around the world.
Led by the exuberant dancer Melaku Belay, Fendika draws deeply from the well of Ethiopia’s bardic tradition while adding creative movements and sounds that revitalize their ancient artistic forms. Fendika features six performers – two dancers, a singer, and instruments including kebero drums, masenko (a one-stringed bowed fiddle) and krar (a five- or six-stringed lyre). The band is famous for their sense of humour and the perceptiveness of the songs they improvise about their customers, or about social and political subjects. Since 2008, Melaku Belay has led Fendika with a new pulse and spirit. He completely revolutionizes the artistic world of Addis Ababa by creating a place which offers a symbiosis between tradition and modernity.
Besides Fendika other artists expected to perform at gF 2016 include Mexican singer Astrid Hadad, Russian Band Debauche, Lakou Mizik from Haiti, Mariana Sadovska, from Ukraine, and Tribu Baharú, from Colombia, will also perform, as well as Ginkgoa (France), Ironing Board Sam (United States), Stelios Petrakis Quartet (Greece) and the Dhol Foundation (Britain). Started as an antidote to xenophobic sentiments in the U.S. and around the world in 2002, the first globalFEST took place in 2003.
Over the years the band has grown to become an internationally recognized, agile and responsive organization. In 2015 Kenya’s Just A Band joined other performers from around the world to perform at the 12th edition of the annual event. More information is available on the globalFest! website