Home > City Journal, Music > Fusing jazz with Eskista

Fusing jazz with Eskista


On January 19, 2010 Tuesday night a French jazz group “Le Bruit du Sign” in pair with Ethiopian traditional Eskista dancers, Melaku Belay and Zinesh Tsegaye gave a performance at Asni Art Village in Ferensay Park. It was a highly entertaining show that captivated the audience, combining traditional Ethiopian dance with uncompromising, highly dissonant European jazz. Tenor saxophonist, Nicolas Stephan, trumpet player Julien Rousseau, electric guitarist, Julien Omé, double bassist Théo Girard and vocalist Jeanne Added, drummer Sébastien Brun and Eskista dancers Melaku and Zinash have entertained the audience with their well-organized and polished performance. The group’s high artistry translated well to the intimate room. The audience, though small, has been visibly content with the show, applauding and roaring now and then.
While some pieces rhythmically and electronically moved toward rock beat and color, the inner fabric of the pieces were into avant-garde jazz territory. They were broad, playful, beguilingly pretty and intense.
The Ethiopian dancer’s mixing of diverse ethnic dancing such as the Amhara, Oromo, Guraghe, involving lots of jumping, twisting, stamping and spectacular leaps with the agile shoulder move made the night one to remember.

Jazz might still be the new thing for Ethiopia. The number of devoted fans remains small, but it is increasingly being considered as attractive and fashionable by a much greater number of casual listeners. Such performances by visiting groups are getting notices too.
The group is performing at Alliance tonight, Friday, 22nd January, starting from 8 pm.
(Photo courtesy of Sophie, from the group)

  1. Getnet
    January 23, 2010 at 7:59 am

    The group deserve all the praise for their effort to blend two entirely different music genres to come up with a highly entertaining performance.

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