Dubbed “The White Stripes of Ethiopia” for their minimalist rocky sound, the Ethiopian power trio Krar Collective amp up the ancient using traditional instruments to create rousing and soulful blues.
Their instrumental line-up features the six-stringed krar lyre, the bass krar, kebero drums, a one-stringed masenqo fiddle, and a washint flute. Vocalist and krar-master Temesegen Zeleke leads the collective, while the magnetic Genet Assefa provides exuberant, soaring vocals. Percussion master Amare keeps them in flawless rhythm on kebero tom drums. Leader Temesgen Zeleke is a revolutionary krar player, known for dropping to his knees Hendrix-style during his killer solos. As a young student, Temesgen was mentored and encouraged by legendary Ethio-jazzman Mulatu Astatke.
According to a testimony from the 2010 WOMAD Festival,”This vibrant and energetic act attracted a huge crowd and within a minute we knew why. Colourful and soulful, the strong sounds just grabbed you and didn’t let go…impossible to stand still, impossible to feel down, mesmerizing.”
The Krar Collective have been lauded time and time again for performing rock-inspired songs imbued with a powerful and hypnotic groove.
Now it’s time for them to shake the timbers of Club PuSh at Performance Works during Vancouver’s premier international performing arts festival.