The Ethio-Japanese Cultural exchange event was an epic night to remember; people of Addis Ababa always wanted new experiences and something that is not boring for the weekend and that is exactly what they got on the weekend. There is now a range of activities available but what made this event fabulous was of course, the fact that the entrance was free! It was quite spectacularly executed. It featured the popular Japanese band Heavenese, a band that specializes in Unique music consisting of incredible fusion of traditional Japanese culture with a modern rock sound, the Ethiopian National Theatre cultural band and Ethiopian rap group Cross Concept, a group of five young men who have been working on creating appealing music with Ethiopian Elements into Hip-Hop. This was a truly unique combination.
The program was kicked off with the National Theatre band. They presented several captivating dance routines of different Ethiopian tribes. For a person who has never experienced live dancing, the act was exceptionally unforgettable. The colorful cultural clothing, the perfectly choreographed dance routines showcasing Ethiopian culture beautifully and the amazing band and singers were a pride to our culture, in this event where numerous foreigners attended.
Following that, a more modern Ethiopian act followed. The young rappers from Addis Ababa who as mentioned above have a vision of introducing well produced, modern hip-hop music with an Ethiopian touch to the world, performed two exquisite songs that had a few traditional instruments mixed into an upbeat rap beat. The band managed to do two sets with songs titles These Eggs got Legs and Heritage.
The dramatic entrance of the Japanese band, Heavenese was so perfectly carried out. It was emotionally stirring. It was palpable the amount of work it took for them to perfectly go through with each and every part of their performance. The lead singer had a powerful voice that just filled up the room and one cannot escape the fact that the Japanese sound is so unique. As the program went on, it became apparent that Ethiopian music and Japanese music sound exactly alike.
After a few humorous acts by Heavenese, it became time to hear a song that they did with the Young Ethiopian rappers. It was an unexpected combination that worked so well. The merging of the two gorgeous cultures with traditional and modern styles made the performances special.
All in all, it would not be an overstatement to say a free concert that had actual Ninjas cleaning and organizing the National theatre stage, and young talent being displayed while culture was shared abundantly, was a major success.