Two films from The Ethiopiques series
Saturday, July 26
Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West
Directed by Anaïs Prosaïc
67 min; Rating: PG
Canadian Premiere! Ethiogroove captures singer Mahmoud Ahmed's first collaboration with the Either/Orchestra at the Banlieues Bleues jazz festival. The Grammy-nominated American big band accompanies Ahmed's traditional Ethiopian melodies with a mixture of jazz, blues, and funk, with an energetic stage presence. This documentary performance film from Anais Prosaic complements the Paris-based label’s extensive “Ethiopiques” CD series, dedicated to disseminating recordings of Ethiopian and Eritrean musicians. The director juxtaposes live performances with rehearsals, snippets of Ethiopian political and musical history and more.
Getatchew Mekurya & The Ex + Guests
Directed by Stephane Jourdain
79 min; Rating: PG
Canadian Premiere! This film features Getachew Mekurya, an astonishing Ethiopian sax player who developed a style of playing in the 50's comparable to Albert Ayler or Ornette Coleman, shortly before either of them recorded and well before he could have heard either of them. It documents the meeting of Getatchew and The Ex, a Dutch punk-rock combo, who after their start in 1979, developed into a melting pot band of divergent musical styles. Noise, rock, jazz, improvisation, and world music have been interwoven under one unique umbrella they call "Ex-music". Discordant, highly rhythmic guitars and a rolling African drumming style give the music of The Ex its special character. Mekurya's phenomenal style shown here is based on a saxophone re-creation of the Ethiopian 'shellela' singing style, this time fusing traditional Ethiopian material transposed to a powerful western rock based setting.