Addis Ababa, September 5, 2023 – The U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs have partnered to send Ethiocolor to the United States for a month-long, multi-city tour through the Center Stage program.
U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Tracey Jacobson met with the Ethiocolor performers on August 30 to wish them well on their upcoming tour. From September 3-26, Ethiocolor will participate in share Ethiopian music and culture with Americans in a series of concerts across the United States. The group will perform at a wide range of venues in major metropolitan areas and small communities including the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and the World Music Festival in Chicago, as well as performances in New York City, New Hampshire, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
The Center Stage program promotes collaboration between talented American and international artists. Since 2012, the Center Stage program has hosted more than 225 artists in 34 ensembles from eleven nations. Ethiopia is one of just three countries selected globally to participate in Season 7 of Center Stage; Ethiocolor will be joined by groups from South Africa and Vietnam. This is the first time a band from Ethiopia has been selected to perform in Center Stage.
Ethiocolor is led by Melaku Belay, owner and artistic director of Fendika Cultural Center. Their music draws from the deep well of Ethiopia’s diverse cultural heritage and demonstrates a symbiosis of dance with music and of the ancient with the modern.