Melbourne African Traditional Ensemble

Melbourne African Traditional Ensemble


Tradition, storytelling, language and connection to ancestral heritage through music

The Melbourne African Traditional Ensemble (MATE) produce a warm, halcyon sound which gently carries the listener through a ruminative, cerebral journey. While the broad latitude and depth of sounds derived from the traditional instruments belonging to the diaspora are distinct individually in timbre, tone and rhythm, they are beautifully united with the overlying warmth and tempo of the stringed instruments and vocals.

Scintillating poly rhythms of the Mbira and foot percussion dance elegantly beneath the harmonies of the strings, the Krar (5 stringed lyre) and the Masinqo (1 string violin). Blended into the seamless weave of this aural cloth is a remarkable vocal range, imprinting raw fibers of oral history from the folky voice of Limpopo born Valanga Khoza and his ancestral history of orators and storytellers, to the Eastern melodies and dulcet tones of Eritrean born Anbessa Gebrehiwot.

The Melbourne African Traditional Ensemble encompass and represent the traditional sounds of each member’s respective country, collaborating to preserve important traditions in music; storytelling, language and connection to ancestral heritage to unite the diaspora and share the Pan African experience with the wider community.

Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre and The Melbourne African Traditional Ensemble


Anbessa Gebrehiwot Masenqo
Haftu Reda Krar
Valanga Khoza Kalimba flute, jaw harp
Kofi Kunkpe Talking drum, water drum
Danny Mekonnen Saxophone


Valanga Khoza
Sala Khale
I remember
Never forget

Haftu Reda
Anbessa Gebrehiwot Tzetash thewetrwedena eyemeta
Anbessa Gebrehiwot Wedemtahubat meder