September 2019


Atse Tewodros Project

Samstag 28.09.2019 21:30 | Club

Eintritt: AK 10,-/7,-/5,- // VVK 7,- zzgl. Gebühr

Veranstalter/-in: Werkstatt der Kulturen/ Freundeskeis Äthiopien



Music about historical & mythological ethiopian women

A project by Gabriella Ghermandi


Ladet eure Freund*innen auf Facebook ein!

Maqeda is the Ethiopian name for the Queen of Sheba, who according to Ethipian legend went to the court of the Emperor Solomon to challenge his wisdom by asking him riddles. And Maqeda is the name that Gabriella Ghermandi has chosen for her new project, dedicated to female figures, which aims to “universalise” the myth of the Queen of Sheba and of other figures in Ethiopian history and mythology, and bring them to life using the experience of women, men and girls of different origins who will participate in the writing and serigraphy printing laboratories as planned by the project itself.

Maqeda is an artistic, cultural and anthropological journey that, through a shared path of music, images and narration, proposes a reflection on the feminine and its figures.


  • Gabriella Ghermandi – vocals
  • Fabrizio Puglisi – piano
  • Misale Legesse – Ethiopian traditional drum set
  • Endris Hassen – one string bowl “Masinko”
  • Camilla Missio – bass guitar
  • Abu Gebre – Ethiopian traditional flute “Washint”
  • Tommy Ruggero drums and percussion
  • Anteneh Teklemariam - acustic and electric kirar (Ethiopian lira)


The Atse Tewodros Project is an initiative, coordinated by writer and performer Gabriella Ghermandi, that forges musical collaborations between Ethiopian and Italian musicians.

This project takes as its symbol Emperor Tewodros, a man who was not of imperial lineage, but still managed to gain the throne through willpower and charisma, breaking with centuries of custom. He was the first Emperor who gave Ethiopia the chance to modernize while respecting its traditions. In a similar way, the Atse Tewodros Project intends to respect traditional Ethiopian music while opening it up to dialogue and exchange.

He was also the emperor who fought against Queen Victoria’s army and defended Ethiopian independence in the century of African colonization. The Atse Tewodros Project also includes songs from the Ethiopian Resistance that fought against the Italian Fascist Regime. By doing so, it reclaims the past, both for the general public and for the individual, it creates a way to describe the course of human and migrant lives and to talk about plural identities.



  • Gabriella Ghermandi
    The leader and creator of Atse Tewodros Project, Gabriella Ghermandi, is a singer, performer, novelist and short-story writer. She was born in Addis Ababa in 1965 to an Italian father and an Ethiopian mother, and raised in Ethiopia. In 1979, a year after her father’s death, Ghermandi moved permanently to Italy.
    She was among the founding members of the online magazine El Ghibli, the first Italian periodical with an editorial board made up of foreign authors who write in Italian.
    Parallel to her writing, Gabriella Ghermandi has been building a considerable reputation as a performer of narratives adapted from Ethiopia’s oral and musical tradition. Her readings are usually accompanied by Ethiopian music and songs and revolve around a series of historical events.
    These performances have toured around the world. She was also on the jury of the 23rd Neustadt International Prize for Literature (20013), which was won by her nominee Mia Couto.
    In April 2007 her first severl time aworded novel, Regina di fiori e di perle, was published by Donzelli Editore, and the English translation, Queen of Flowers and Pearls, came out with Indiana University Press in 2015.
    In 2010, in an effort to bring together Italian and Ethiopian musicians as a way of fostering mutual dialogue and artistic creation, she created the Atse Tewodros Project. This project got its start in Addis Ababa, growing out of the collaboration between Ethiopian composer Aklilu Zewdy and Professor Berhanu Gezaw.
  • Fabrizio Puglisi
    Although in his late forties, and well experienced (he spent 6 years in Holland and has played with artists like John Zorn, Steve Lacy and Butch Morris among others), pianist Fabrizio Puglisi still remains an unbelievably underrated master of European jazz. His latest avant-latin project Guantanamo is thrilling and psychedelic, but let's not forget the empathic Rope trio (with Stefano Senni on bass and Zeno De Rossi on drums) and his trip into Gnawa music with Fawda Trio. He teachs piano Jazz at the conservatory of Trapani and at the “special school of music” in Siena.
  • Camilla Missio
    The bass player has worked for many years touring in Italy and abroad with Italian artists such as Massimo Ranieri, Andrea Mingardi, Paola Turci, Ricky Portera, Stefano Benni and has performed in several orchestras for national tv shows with live music. She works with several groups of only women band like “Lady Zeppeling” “Silutthes” “Les Tripplettes” … .
  • Endris Hassen
    The young, dynamic masenqo (single-string bowed lute) player who has been active on the Ethiopian scene for over fifteen years, adventurously carrying its musical traditions into the sphere of jazz improvisation. He is a member of the Ethio Color Band and has worked with pianist Samuel Yirga from the Real World label, as well as with the Imperial Tiger Orchestra, The Ex, and other major names. He has been part of the Nile Project Ensamble.
  • Anteneh Teklemariam
    The krar (Ethiopian lyre) player and composer plays kirar in the EthioColor Band and in Qwanqwa band.
  • Tommy Ruggero
    The percussionist studied drumset in New York City and West African percussions in Senegal, Mali and Burkina Faso. Now he works as a session musician in various contexts, with a special interest in the fusion of different musical cultures. He joins Atse Tewodros Project adventure in september 2015.
  • Misale Legesse
    The percussionist and traditional drummer plays traditional music with the Ethio Color Band, the EX, Qwuanqwa, Fendika. He is one the best musician of Ethiopian traditional drum. 
  • Yohanns Afework
    He played washint flute for many years in the orchestra of Ethiopia’s National Theater, and is now a member of the traditional Ethio Color Band. His prestigious collaborations include projects with figures such as jazz musician Mulatu Astatke.



Presented by the Bolognese association Andlay, leader of the project, Maqeda tour has financed by the Regione Emilia Romagna export office.




Die WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN wird gefördert von der Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa.