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26 Sep 2010

Imperial Tiger Orchestra - Southern African Tour 2010

Pro Helvetia Cape Town, the Swiss Arts Council, presents a Southern African tour by Imperial Tiger Orchestra a Geneva-based music group that performs songs from the Golden Age of Ethiopian modern music (1969 - 1978)
featuring
Endres Hassan from Ethiopia playing the Masenqo

Inspired by the Golden Age of Ethiopian modern music (1969-1978) Imperial Tiger Orchestra is soon to hit the live music spots of Southern Africa. Their tour includes Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban as well as Harare and Maputo and is presented by Pro Helvetia Cape Town, the Swiss Arts Council.

While preserving the natural beauty of the Ethiopian melodies and sound, this six-piece Geneva-based orchestra is not to be mistaken for a covers band. Improvising and experimenting, the musicians explore uncharted territories with their powerful instrumentation of horn, percussion and keyboards, adding distortion and noise to the revamped and reworked original vocal songs with the sax or keyboard replacing the singer.


Embracing dark hypnotic rhythms, obsessive basslines and grooves from electronic music, the orchestra surprise and impress with their use of the traditional Thai "phin" guitar together with the traditional Ethiopian "kebero" percussion. Band members include leader Raphaël Anker (trumpet), John Menoud (baritone saxophone), Alexandre Rodrigues (keys), Cyril Moulas (bass guitar and phin), Julien Israelian (drums) and Luc Détraz (percussion).


A special feature of their Southern African tour is the inclusion of Ethiopian musician Endres Hassen, who plays the masenqo, a traditional single-stringed violin.

Their first performances are at the Pan African Space Station (PASS), on Wednesday 29 September at 19h00 at the Slave Church, 40 Long Street, Cape Town and on Friday 1 October they perform at the Albert Hall, 208 Albert Road, Wood Stock, Cape Town at 22h30. Tickets for both venues are R30 if booked through Computicket or R50 at the door.

On Saturday 2 October, the Tigers perform at The Mannenberg, Harare at 21h00. Tickets are $10 at the door.

Thursday 7 October they are in Maputo at encontrARTE, CCFM at 20h30. Tickets cost 200MZN at the door.

Friday 8 October, at the Bassline, 10 Henry Nxumalo Street, Newtown, Johannesburg. Performance time is 21h00 and tickets cost R60 at the door.

Their final concert is on Saturday 9 October at 19h30 at the Poetry Africa Finale, BAT Centre, Durban. Tickets are R50 at the door.


Founded by Raphaël Anker, Imperial Tiger Orchestra began with an invitation from Cave12, the legendary experimental live music event in Geneva. Given carte blanche to play what he liked, Anker took the opportunity as an admirer of Ethio-Jazz to experiment with a particular music scale, common in Ethiopian music and what they played at the start of their union was more in the style of free jazz and ‘noise’.

In 2009, the group’s commitment to Ethiopian music was sealed when they, via an invitation from Francis Falceto (the curator of the anthology series “Ethiopiques”), performed at the Musiques Ethiopiennes festival in Addis Ababa. By all accounts, the group was the sensation of the festival, impressing Falceto, established Ethiopian musicians as well as local audiences.

Raphaël Anker says, ‘We are very excited about playing with Endres. The masenqo is really important in traditional Ethiopian music and it presents a challenge for us to incorporate this into our sound. Endres is considered today as one of the best players in Ethiopia’.

For more information about Imperial Tiger Orchestra and their tour contact Eitan Prince at Pro Helvetia Cape Town 021 465 9033 / 083 254 8789 http://www.prohelvetia.org.za/
www.myspace.com/imperialtigerorchestra

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"Jazz and freedom go hand in hand. That explains it. There isn't any more to add to it. If I do add to it, it gets complicated. That's something for you to think about. You think about it and dig it. You dig it..." Thelonious Monk
"Jazz and freedom go hand in hand. That explains it. There isn't any more to add to it. If I do add to it, it gets complicated. That's something for you to think about. You think about it and dig it. You dig it..." Thelonious Monk

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