QWANQWA is a five-piece improvisatory ensemble based in Addis Ababa, dedicated to furthering Ethiopia’s unique string traditions. Inspired by a shared passion for Ethiopian music, the group brings together some of the most accomplished traditional players in the country; creating a space to explore new sounds and break the rules in an otherwise conservative musical culture.
QWANQWA takes its name from the Amharic word for “language,” dedicated to creating musical dialogues between cultures and the proposition that music is a universal language that transcends borders. Their distinct sound is grounded on an array of Ethiopian traditional instruments.
Zikina opens with dreamy, dance-based groove music. led by Ugandan-born Gideon Ampeire and his colleagues Mike Cardozo, Roston Kirk, and Kade Parkin.