Meet Wayna, a highly notable Grammy nominated singer/songwriter who will be performing this Saturday at our SHAOLIN JAZZ L!VE – The Ethiopia Edition live performance at Tropicalia. Wayna, who is of Ethiopian descent, was part of the team that traveled with us to Addis, and was hugely instrumental in the success that we had there.
How has your environment influenced your music?
It has given me the life experiences from which I draw the subject matter and values, which influence the music profoundly.
How do you feel about hip-hop culture and if you’re a fan, have you incorporated it into your music?
I became a fan, after working with so many hip-hop purists. I have incorporated in my work the storyteller style of writing, improvisation, and some poetic techniques.
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Tonight we’re conducting a special performance of SHAOLIN JAZZ L!VE – DJ Edition at the African Union, which will include performances by Wayna Wondwossen, Kenny Allen, and Raquel Ra Brown. We’re extremely proud to be apart of a new initiative that the African Union has developed called #TheAfricaWeWant – a program to catalyze social change and community within the member countries in the union.
As with any travel overseas, day 1 is pretty much all travel. That being said, the journey has been nothing short of eventful, yet moved by pretty quickly. Fortunately we made it safely to Addis and after a major hurdle at the airport (Wayna – so happy that you’re traveling with us) we, upon check-in at the hotel, were greeted by one of our heads from DC, Ra Brown, who’s staying in the same spot, a picturesque boutique hotel called Zeist Lodge (props to Ra for suggesting the spot).
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- The first being travel to the highly industrious city of Addis Ababa where, for one week, we will meet and interview local Jazz and Hip-Hop artists to learn about the history of those respective scenes in Ethiopia, which will culminate in a SHAOLIN JAZZ L!VE performance (live Jazz and Hip-Hop).
- The second tier will take place in Washington, DC and will consist of a panel discussion about Jazz and Hip-Hop culture in the US and Ethiopia, followed by a performance of SHAOLIN JAZZ L!VE, in the historic U Street Corridor, featuring both local and guest Ethiopian musicians.
We have been awarded a grant by the DC Commission of the Arts and Humanities to fund part of this initiative, however in order to make the full exchange possible we have to raise $10,000 by the end of March. This is where you and I come in.
In order to make this all happen we need your support. We have launched an IndieGogo campaign for the month of March to raise $10,000 to help fund this initiative. For each donation of $15 or more we have a long list of SHAOLIN JAZZ perks and goodies that you can choose from including music, tote bags, baseball tees, vinyl records, show tickets and more. If you enjoy the arts and are interested in supporting a culturally substantive program Click here to shop around and pledge your support today!