Hailing from Germany but a true world citizen, Yeshe has explored all corners of the globe in developing a rich tapestry of sound and vivid collage of musical culture. Yeshe embodies the musical nomad drawing heavily from his African teachings but expressing his music with a sophisticated style and distinctly cosmopolitan flavour.
Now based in Australia, Yeshe was born and raised near Dusseldorf, Germany - where the Ruhr River joins the Rhine. At this juncture Yeshe at a young age was exposed to a unique collision of cultures, customs and music and a chance meeting as a teenager with African drummer Mustapha Tettey Addy became the foundation for his musical evolution and the African sound, which would feature so prominently in his music. Addy was a master Ghanaian drummer and ethnomusicologist and enthralled by his creative drumming compositions Yeshe began performing locally with Addy's percussion ensembles and by the age of sixteen had left school to tour the world.
Yeshe kept returning to West Africa each winter to advance his musical and cultural mentorship and would perform during the European summers with acts traversing genres of Latin, Funk, Soul, Reggae and South African Jive. It was during one of these summers that he would meet another one of his musical mentors Reggae singer/multi-instrumentalist Tefo Hlaele, who was a founding member of the world famous South African musical, Ipi N’tombi. Tefo would later reconnect with Yeshe to perform on his award winning album Roots and Wings.
Yeshe also spent five years in Japan working as a session musician with several Japanese and international artists. During this time he also travelled extensively throughout Asia to study various percussion styles of its many cultures and engaged in numerous collaborations.
Yeshe’s musical apprenticeship would continue to evolve through the 80’s & 90’s after meeting Canada’s most awarded blues artist Harry Manx who is world renown for his exquisite combination of Blues, Folk, and Hindustan Classical music. Yeshe and Manx became good friends and worked and toured together with many different acts around the globe. Manx would have a tremendous and powerful influence on Yeshe's future musical development, eventually inspiring his solo career.
While in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1996, Yeshe met American singer/songwriter Chris Berry of the band Panjea. Yeshe would perform with Panjea over several successful tours of the US and Australia. Berry was a master Mbira player who had already released many successful songs in Zimbabwe. It was this important meeting that sparked Yeshe's interest in the Mbira. As Yeshe recalls:
“After stumbling across the Mbira in the desert of New Mexico I was immediately put under a spell and shortly after had to follow it to it’s birthplace in Zimbabwe. There I found Mbira master Garkayi Tirikoti and totally immersed myself into the Shona culture, basically never leaving his sight and sleeping on his floor in the ghettos of Harare. The Mbira thereafter became the centerpiece of my music.”
Yeshe would later use the same approach to learn Kamele Ngoni an instrument native to Mali and Burkina Faso in Africa, Again he would head for the source and study it with two brothers Aruna and Siaka Diarra from a Burkina Griot family.
It was after a tour late in 2003, that with Harry Manx’s production guidance, they would record Yeshe’s debut album entitled World Citizen through Manx’s Canadian based label, Dog My Cat Records. “Yeshe's music will never go out of fashion, this kind of music will remain relevant for ages to come” says Manx.
World citizen charted and won multiple international awards with the largest independent e-tailor on earth CD Baby calling it “a true gem in our World Music category”. Supports and collaborations with world dance musician Ganga Giri (also featured on the record) and regular performances with a host of other artists in different genres at major festivals continue to bro
Yeshe Reiners - Vocals, mbira, Kamele Ngoni
Cye Wood - Violin/Viola
Matt Ostilla - Bass & Jawharp
Hugh Jones - Drums
1. Yeshe: "World CitiZen"
(Dog My Cat Records, Canada)
2. Yeshe: "Roots & Wings"
(WCZ Records, Australia)