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  • AddisFortune interview with guitar virtuoso Michael Hailu


    Guitar virtuoso Michael Hailu, a long time member and musical director of Jano Band, has always marched to his own drum, following his own musical journey. Michael is gaining wide critical acclaim and attracting legions of fans. He has played a key role in the local music scene as a producer of many popular local artists such as Michael Belayneh, Teddy Afro and Abinet Agonafir. With his signature guitar close by, and his warm, open personality in full display, the 28-year-old shares his experiences to SAMSON BERHANE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, inside his studio, about music, life and how he became interested in playing the guitar by watching a video of Michael Jackson and his guitarist. With his unique sound and contribution to the advancement of Ethiopian music, it is easy to predict why he is indeed a star in the making.

    Fortune: What inspired you to become an artist?

    I have loved the sound of a guitar since my younger days. I discovered Jennifer Batten play in a Michael Jackson concert and I was impressed. How could I not be that, when I was discovering something unique and beautiful? For the longest time, playing with my guitar became my best memorable hours well spent.

    Then I also discovered other kinds of music, including gospel and popular music. For me, music is something that takes you away to moments that mean something for you. It takes me back to the days I would walk into a church and receive some peace of mind. As far as popular music is concerned, I first became a member of a group, founded by popular artist Dawit Tsige.

    Q: Do you recall the excitement you had when your work came out?

    I most definitely do. It was my effort with Abel Mulugeta on the album “Tegerime” and then I got to work with Teddy Afro. That was a milestone moment for me. It is very hard to identify which song made me known to the public. I worked in many bands, however, my work with Michael Belayneh, the song Tizita must have been the one that made me, humbly, a household name.

    Q: Jano is known for its unique sound.

    Before my work with Jano, I was mainly interested in rock music. That is more of my style. Jano has a sound that is mixed, a reflection of our diversity in contemporary, jazz, and soul music and gospel.

    I brought the idea to the group. However, it was Bill Laswell (former partner of Gigi), a famous American producer, who worked with the likes of U2, who brought us together. Since he was our producer at the time, we followed suit and accepted his advice. We are known to experiment, to discover all unique styles.

    Read the full interview here

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  • Jano Band announce kickoff of Ethiopia Tour 2014

    Jano Band and Meta Abo Brewery SC announced the kickoff of the band’s 2014 nationwide tour on Wednesday at Harmony Hotel.

    The tour, to be carried out under Meta’s “Celebrating the Pride of Ethiopian Music” campaign, will bring the band’s Ethiopian-rock sounds to audiences across the nation, starting with a concert in Addis Ababa on 18 January at Tropical Gardens.

    Jano’s first performance for the Ethiopia Tour 2014 is anticipated to draw a crowd of over 5,000 to the ‘vibrant’ outdoor venue at the Tropical Gardens. Tickets for the Addis Ababa concert are on sale now through the concert date at a number of outlets around the city, which are specified on radio announcements. The following concerts will take place in February in the cities of Gondar, Bahir Dar and Dire Dawa, successively, with a final concert in Dessie, the date of which will be announced in the coming weeks.

    The Jano Band Ethiopia Tour 2014 is part of Meta’s broader “Celebrating the Pride of Ethiopian Music” campaign, which has been the business’ core means of engaging consumers over the past year-and-a-half, and which aims to encourage Ethiopians to celebrate life responsibly every day, everywhere. Ethiopian music has an important role to play in how Ethiopians come together to celebrate memorable and exciting occasions throughout their lives. Through the “Celebrating the Pride of Ethiopian Music” concept, Meta aims to tap into the heart of Ethiopian music, and support its advancement by spotlighting well-known and up and coming Ethiopian artists, who characterize the breadth of local music.

    At the press conference, Meta Abo Brewery’s Managing Director, Francis Agbonlahor, expressed his enthusiasm to be working with the likes of the powerful and versatile, Jano Band. “Meta is very proud to support Jano Band, the voice of a new Ethiopian generation, through our ‘Celebrating the Pride of Ethiopian Music’ campaign. Over the course of the past twelve months, I’ve been continuously impressed with Jano’s abilities to push not only the boundaries of Ethiopian music, but also their art and abilities day after day,” Agbonlahor said.

    Adissu Gessesse, Jano Band manager, echoed this sentiment, stating, “Having recently returned from our US tour, which was phenomenally well-received, Jano is incredibly proud to bring this momentum to its home country and people as it embarks on this nationwide tour.”

    As part of Meta and Jano’s collaboration around the “Celebrating the Pride of Ethiopian Music" journey, Meta sponsored the band’s 2013 Ethiopia tour, which took them to Nazareth, Mekelle, Hawassa, and Jimma in addition to a performance for a packed crowd at Lafto Mall in Addis Ababa.

    Meta is poised to invest significantly in the area of music in to continue to deliver the best consumer music experience, as exemplified by the launch of the Jano Band Ethiopia Tour 2014.

    source: thereporterethiopia

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