Spotlight on Ethiopia’s Jano Band

The Jano band -- a rare rock band in Ethiopia -- has been playing locally and touring in Europe for the past five years. (Photo: AFP)


Ethiopian band wins fans by melding rock with African sounds

At a hotel in Addis Ababa well-known for hosting jazz greats, thousands of fans lined up on a Saturday night to headbang along with what is still a rarity in Ethiopia’s diverse music scene — a rock band.

Jano, named after a popular item of traditional clothing, has made a name for itself in Africa’s second most populous country, as well as abroad, by blending local styles of music with Western rock and roll.

“We’re trying to make something very, very different,” said Hailu Amerga, one of four vocalists in the eight-piece, mixed ensemble, that also features a drummer, keyboard player, guitarist and bassist.

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Watch: JANO Band performing at Howard Theatre in DC on July 4th, 2013 (TADIAS Interview)

Watch: The Ethiopian Rock Band Jano – Interview with Producer Bill Laswell (TADIAS)

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