Ethiopian Music’s hypnotically funky rhythms and exotic tonality lay the foundation for Tezeta Band, an eight-piece ensemble that plays nostalgic instrumental soul music. With a sound rooted in Ethio-Jazz, Tezeta Band (pronounced tih-zeh- tah Band) have been playing old-school African jams across clubs, festivals and restaurants to popular acclaim since 2008. The group was created by members of legendary 90s Portland hip-hop group, Five Fingers of Funk, who became obsessed with the catchy melodies and pulsing grooves introduced on the French compilation series, Ethiopiques. 10 years later Tezeta Band still creates energetic and soulful music inspired by the golden age of Ethiopia.
Tezeta Band has had the distinct honor to open for and share the stage with such legends as, Mahmoud Ahmed, Aster Aweke, Toots & the Maytals, Hugh Masekela, and Vieux Farke Toure. In 2016 Tezeta Band self-released a full length LP “The Origin of Night life” and their music has been featured on several internationally known compilations, Noise and Chill Out: Ethiopian Groove Worldwide and Beyond Addis 1 & 2. In 2014 Tezeta Band’s music was also used in the award winning independent documentary “Zemene”. Their version of Mahmoud Ahmed’s single “Gizie Degu Neger” was also voted into the top local songs of 2015 by jazz radio KMHD and their single “The Viper” was featured in Songlines Magazine’s CD sampler (October 2016). In their tenth year of existence, Tezeta Band is hard at work on a new album of original material with hopes of a release later this year.
Tezeta Band consists of members of 90s Hip-Hop band, The Five Fingers of Funk: Ted Hille/ Saxophone, Tim Cook / Keyboards. Curt Bieker/Trombone, Josh Prewitt/ Trumpet, Talbott Guthrie/drums, and also features Percussionist Jim Fisher, Guitarist Brent Martens (Ural Thomas & the Pain ) & Bassist Arcellus Sykes (Ural Thomas & the Pain).