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Raised by musical parents, it was apparent at an early age that Tewodros Kassahun, (now know as Teddy Afro) had a deep love of music. Over the past ten years, Teddy has emerged as the number one voice in Ethiopia, breaking records for album sales and show attendance. He is known far and wide as the rising star of East Africa. Using Reggae rhythms combined with traditional sounds his songs are sung exclusively in the national language of Ethiopia, Amharic. Influenced by Ethiopian Maestro Tilahun Gessesse and international Reggae superstar Bob Marley, he sings of freedom from tyranny and self-emancipation. http://teddyafro.info
Noura Mint Seymali is a nationally beloved star and one of Mauritania’s foremost musical emissaries. Having begun her career at age 13 as a supporting vocalist with her legendary step-mother Dimi Mint Abba, Noura Mint Seymali was reared in a transitive culture where sounds from across the Sahara, the Magreb, and West Africa coalesce in the dynamic language of the Moorish griot. Fueled by the exploratory sound of her husband Jeiche Ould Chighaly’s distortion-fueled psych guitar lines and a declaritive rhythm section, Ousmane Touré (bass) and Matthew Tinari (drums), Noura Mint Seymali has already made a formidable debut on the international stage. Performing at events like Festival-au-Desert (Mali), Hayy Festival (Egypt), and Festival Timitar (Morocco) and collaborating with artists like Tinariwen, Bassekou Kouyaté, and Baaba Maal, Noura Mint Seymali is steadily gaining wider recognition, determined to bring Mauritanian music to the world.
Hahu Dance Group are a contemporary modern traditional group that aims to promote Ethiopian culture, art and indigenous knowledge all over the world. Hahu won Ethiopian Idol in 2011, and represents Ethiopian multiculturalism, by including four traditional dancers each hailing from different ethnic groups, showing a true sense of community. The group’s early works were inspired by the poor Addis neighborhoods and performances were focused on community awareness creation and empowerment. The group has been working in collaboration with nongovernmental organizations (Andugna dance company, Hope for children organization, Music Media, Addis Ababa city administration theater, A.A. Culture and tourism bureau) on various community issues. http://nouramintseymali.bandcamp.com/