Ras Dashen

Elyas Alavi, Derek Pascoe and Chris Martin

A performance of verbal-musical works reflecting on identity, displacement and memory.

With the artists working together for the third incarnation of this very special collaborative relationship, this performance interweaves the poetry of Elyas Alavi with music by leading Adelaide improvising musicians Derek Pascoe and Chris Martin. This suite of verbal-musical works is inspired by Elyas’ reflections of his experiences as a refugee fleeing war-torn Afghanistan. Elyas’ work focuses on identity, memory, violence, trauma and displacement, and this powerful and intimate performance will draw the audience into his personal experience and leave them changed.

Yitzhak Yedid and Abate Berihun: Duo Ras Dashen

Duo Ras Dashen, named after the highest mountain in Ethiopia, take Ethiopian folk songs and prayers as sung by Keisim, Ethiopian Jewish religious leaders, and present them with a fresh and modern twist adding blues, gospel and jazz influences.

These songs express the longings of the Beta Israel, Ethiopia’s Jews, for Jerusalem, and the story of their journey. Their album is regarded as one of the finest and most original jazz albums to have been produced in Israel in the last decade and the music of Ras Dashen emphasises the ancestry of these musical roots of blues and jazz to Africa.

“When Berihun opened his mouth and began to sing an ancient prayer with the most authentic blues intonation I had ever heard, I was already floating a few centimetres above my seat” – Ben Shalev, Haaretz
This performance is supported by Writers SA

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This performance is supported by Writers SA