“ uKanDanZ represent next step of evolution of contemporary Ethiopian music, impressively building on the post-punk fusion of Getatchew Mekurya and The Ex. Asnake Guebreyes is a charismatic frontman, with powerful vocals and ecstatic dancing, backed by a punk and prog-influenced French quartet that gives the group a sound and intensity that’s both deeply rooted, and uniquely their own.”
Bill Bragin / Lincoln Center for the performing arts / New York City”



At the beginning Ukandanz was the garage project of four French jazzmen, renowned for their respective projects and collaborations (Paolo Fresu, Chris Speed, Didier Lockwood, Louis Sclavis, The Amsterdam Klezmer band, Cosmic Connexion, John Greaves …) as well as a strong mutual desire for discoveries and experiments.
In the course of their rehearsals and concerts, with the impulse of Damien Cluzel (Guitar - Jump to Addis / Ethiopiques n°15), they naturally became more and more influenced by Ethiopique sounds.
The quartet explored Ethiopian rhythms and sonorities composing a singular repertoire with a huge rock energy.


Spotted by Francis Falceto (director of the Ethio-Sonic collection), uKanDanZ was invited to perform at the “Ethiopian International Music Festival” in Ethiopia with a charismatic singer from Addis Ababa : Asnake Guebreyes (Mohammed Jimmy Mohammed Trio, The Ex, Addis-Abeba Police Orchestra with Getatchew Mekurya…). Their contribution was obvious and the new band had great success in its first ethio-european tour in 2010. Ever since, the band has been on the road, thrilling its audiences with hypnotic ethiogroove and crazy stage performances. Here they were rising up to the challenge of charming and bringing together a wide audience ranging from jazz lovers, world music and rock festival enthusiasts to more underground crowds like squatters, Ethiopian wasteland onlookers, travelers…


Taking its inspiration in traditional and popular Ethiopian songs, the music of uKanDanZ is mainly characterized by the originality of its compositions and arrangements as well as by an extra-ordinary energy.
The quartet delivers a powerful and subtle rock groove (odd rhythms, dissonances) sublimated by the virtuoso voice of Asnake Guebreyes.


album "Yetchalal"
Label : Busa Musique (éthioSonic collection)
released on november 8th 2012

Set List

Etu Gèla
Tezalegn Yetentu
Aykedashem lebe
La Chamelle
Wub Nat
Belomi benna