Munit and Jorg in ፪::2

Zela Gayle

An Ethiopian, a mother of two, trained in economics and government, and an accomplished musician. That is Munit Mesfin. A German, a father of one, a guitarist, and a music teacher.

That is Jorg. Two people with nothing in common except for music, and made an extraordinary alliance out of this only thing they have in common. Today Munit and Jorg, currently the only duet based in Addis Ababa, are the most charming creators of Ethio-Acoustic Soul music.

A friend brought the two together first in 2007 during the celebrations of the Ethiopian Millennium, when Munit came from the US for a short visit. And having moved to Addis Ababa a few years earlier, Jorg was cruising his way through local bands. Since then the two have been creating a unique and energizing blend of music. Munit’s unique vocal excellence and Jorg’s ever bettering skill in manoeuvring the guitar he is well associated with mean the two had released their first album called “Just the two of us: Live at the coffee house.” Three months after they first met and did a video clip called “Noro, Noro,” in 2009.

This was all happening while Munit was shuttling in and outside of Ethiopia. Since two years however Munit has settled in Ethiopia, which gave her and Jorg a greater chance to do what they do best when they are together: create beautiful music.

Munit and Jorg have had a great journey so far, entertaining thousands of people and performing in all the best jazz clubs and theatres in Addis Ababa and elsewhere outside of Ethiopia.  In 2012, they travelled and performed in Egypt and did a festival in Spain after winning a spot through a competition put together by the Spanish Embassy and Casa Africa.  Amongst the 14 bands that competed in the ‘Vis a Vis’ initiative, Munit and Jorg were chosen by the Spanish festival organizers and producers as one of two bands to represent Ethiopia in three different festivals where they performed at the 21st Canarias Jazz Y Mas Music Festival, Etnosure and Pirineos Sur. They were received with tremendous love and ovation as they represented Ethiopian contemporary music in a very unique way.

Awesome :: 2

As a symbolic representation of their background, the long awaited album of Munit and Jorg is titled ፪:: 2, the numeric sign respectively of the number two in Gee’ez, Ethiopia’s ancient language now confined to the use of Orthodox Christian Churches, and in English.

The launch of the album was held on March 18th at the spectacular auditorium of the National Theatre here in Addis Ababa in the presence of more than 600 fans. Guest artist Robel Mehari accompanied Munit and Jorg on guitar.

The album was executively produced and artistically directed by the duet and is a blend of the two cultures:  Ethiopian and German.

The album contains 14 songs nine of which are originals and five reflecting well-loved family tunes. Munit wrote ten of them. The cover tunes range from an updated classic by the late legendary Krar (Ethiopia’s five string violin) player, vocalist and actress Asnakech Worku, to children’s songs.

Songs on the album tell personal stories and universal truths with layers of guitar and voice and a few touches of percussion by guest drummers Natnael Tessema and Teferi Assefa.

Soulful and effortless, Munit’s voice is a soothing sensation, bringing much comfort and warmth while Jorg plays guitar with a familiar pulsating electric beat engaging and taking the audience on a journey full of character and charm. It is simply awesome.


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