Saturday, April 13
8:00 PM
  • Performance

Solar Myth
1131 S. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA
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This is a standing show.

Program Info

$25 General Admission
21 & Over



  • Endris Hassen – mesenko (one string fiddle)
  • Bubu Teklemariam – bass krar (Ethiopian lyre)
  • Selamnesh Zemene – vocals
  • Misale Legesse – kebero (goat skin drum)
  • Kaethe Hostetter – 5-string electric violin

Ars Nova Workshop presents a special performance by QWANQWA, a five-piece improvisatory ensemble based in Addis Ababa and dedicated to furthering Ethiopia’s unique musical traditions, on Saturday, April 13 at Solar Myth. 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 singular sound is built on an array of Ethiopian traditional instruments. QWANQWA was founded by American violinist Kaethe Hostetter, who first performed Ethiopian music as a founding member of Debo Band. After relocating to Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, in 2009, she dove deep into the culture, working on numerous musical projects. In 2012 Hostetter brought together some of the undisputed heavyweights in Addis Ababa’s music scene to form QWANQWA.

Since then, QWANQWA has become an integral and constant presence on the Addis Ababa music scene, and has released three critically-acclaimed albums. Members of QWANQWA have performed with some of the biggest names in Ethiopian music and beyond, including Getachew Mekuria, Mahmoud Ahmed, Mulatu Astatke, The EX, Thurston Moore, Fred Frith, Butch Morris, and more.

Cover: QWANQWA, 2022. Photo courtesy the artist.