News Brief
Abyssinia Rise cover artwork.

Te'Amir Explores His Ethiopian Heritage In the 'Abyssinia Rise' EP

The LA-based producer's latest project celebrates his Ethiopian roots.

Te'Amir is a Los Angeles-based drummer and producer who tours and records with soul singer Aloe Blacc.

In addition to that, he's played with many musicians from LA's unique hip-hop, soul and jazz scenes such as Kamasi Washington, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and others.

In his latest EP, Abyssinia Rise, Te'Amir continues to explore his Ethiopian heritage. He expertly blends electronic beats with traditional Ethiopian samples to create lively soundscapes that draw you in right away.

"The project was a way for me to connect to Ethiopia. I've never been there so I use the music to take me there," he mentions.

The EP is comprised of four standout tracks that transport the listener through the winding rivers and busy fields of the old Abyssinian empire before closing with an ascending sense of peace. There's no doubt that this project is a transcendent experience, filled with fresh and exciting sounds.

Listen to Te'Amir's new EP Abyssinia Rise below.



Te'Amir - Abyssinia Rise (Trailer) www.youtube.com

Music
Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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