Feedel Band is a supergroup of Ethiopian music performers. who are all acclaimed musicians in their own right.
The Feedel Band’s sound can best be described as an east African jazz, a merging of 1960s funk and soul with traditional Ethiopian grooves and instruments.
The band consists of many of Ethiopia's greatest artists who composed original songs inspired by the Golden Age of Ethiopian popular music in the late 1960s and 70s— a time that had Addis Ababa littered with groups playing brass-heavy concoctions influenced by American soul and jazz.
Feedel’s sax player Moges Habte is one of the greatest Ethiopian sax players ever. He was a member of the legendary Walias Band and he has performed with many of the best Ethiopian singers. He started his musical education at St.Yared Music School in Addis Abba. He is equally adept at flute as he is on his Sax. He is a composer and an arranger. He contributed to classics like “Musicawe Silt” which was first heard played by the Walias, and is now covered by several bands all over the world and he himself has traveled around the world to perform with many Ethiopian singers.
Feedel's bass player Alemseged Kebede has influenced most of the new generation of Ethiopian bass players. After moving to Canada and later to the US, he started playing in local restaurants, and clubs in the 1970s. In addition to bass, he also plays Drums and Keyboards. He has arranged and produced two albums of his own and played bass on the recordings of many Ethiopian singers. He has traveled the world and shared the stage with great African bands and remains a first call musician for many artists, who seek out his soulful, funky bass lines to complement their music.
Also in the group is Araya Woldemichael, a founder of the Feedel band, composer and keyboardist. Araya is a direct descendant of a former Ethiopian king, Haile Selassie. His long musical journey began by playing organ at his Church. He added guitar and accordion while still a young boy. Later he went on to study music in Moscow, and immersed himself in classical music, composition and music theory before moving to the US, where he quickly started playing with local musicians in restaurants and clubs.
Drummer Kenneth Joseph, born in England to Trinidadian parents, was exposed to several musical styles at an early age. Just after WW II, his dad was a pioneering innovator in the steel band movement in Trinidad. And in England, he made a seamless progression to the drum set which led to him becoming an in demand session drummer. When his parents relocated to Trinidad, Ken found the lure of steel pan music captivating and joined his dad’s former band, The Trinidad All Stars. In 1980, with this group, he toured extensively as a drummer and a Tenor pan player. After high school he became the resident drummer at the Hilton Hotel in Port of Spain until 1982 when he migrated to Washington, DC. He continued playing with many of the Caribbean and Ethiopian musicians in the area, touring the world with the iconic reggae artist Joseph Hill, and, backed several top reggae artists which culminated in a position with The original Wailers. Ken is now a permanent member of Feedel Band.
The group that will grace the stages of the Montana Folk Festival will also include Tekle Ghebremedhin on alto sax, Yosef Molla on krar (stringed lyre)/vocal, Setegn Atenaw on mesenko/vocal, Thomas Young and Kalkidan Meshesha on vocal /traditional dance.