The rhymes and chimes of Black Jesus Experience deliver the musical strength and beauty of Africa through the vocal prism of Hip-Hop and freedom of Jazz.
Africa meets Australia and dances.
BLACK JESUS EXPERIENCE is an 8-10 piece band playing an irresistibly danceable blend of traditional Ethiopian song and 21st Century groove. With backgrounds as diverse as the 5 continents the members of 'BJX' hail from, their music reflects the multicultural vibrancy of the band's hometown, Melbourne, Australia.
When not touring BJX run a weekly session at cultural hub The Horn where BJX create new songs live on stage. The comfort BJX has with this practice lies in the improvising traditions of that feed BJX including Hip Hop, Jazz, Azmari and Rutu Pa'u.
The music is also fed quite literally before each performance by the ritual of a group meal prepared by singer Enushu and MD Peter Harper in the Ethiopian tradition, "those who eat from the same plate will not betray each other". This inspires and reinforces bonds musical, social and spiritual, bonds BJX invite their audiences to join.
Enushu began entertaining her local community as a child in Addis Ababa. Forced to leave Ethiopia, Enushu migrated to Australia bringing hauntingly beautiful compositions inspired by her remarkable life story and the unique vocal traditions of Ethiopia. Enushu is joined on vocals by poetic giant and lyrical miracle The Monk, Zimbabwe born and Outback bred.
Highlights for BJX include two tours of "the Motherland" Ethiopia, performing sellout shows with Ethiojazz legend Mulatu Astatke in Europe and Australia (an association which won BJX and Mulatu "The Age Best Tour" award) Glastonbury, Big Chill, City Of London Festival, WOMADdelaide, the Big Day Out, Golden Plains and Melbourne International Jazz Festival and supporting Tony Allen among other great festivals.
The rhymes and chimes of Black Jesus Experience deliver the power and beauty of Africa through the vocal prism of Hip-Hop and freedom of Funk.
ENUSHU TAYE (vocals)
Hailing from Ethiopia, Enushu was only a child when she began singing for her local community. In 1992 she was forced to take refuge in Cairo. In 1996 Enushu migrated to Australia bringing to Melbourne her hauntingly beautiful compositions inspired by her remarkable life story and the unique vocal traditions of Ethiopia. Enushu co-led the group GOJAM producing two acclaimed albums ‘World In A Jam’ and ‘Back On Earth’.
MR MONK (mc/vocal)
Of Zimbabwean/Australian heritage and known by his peers as the “lyrical miracle”, Mr Monk represents with solid flows and conscious word play. Whether with pen and paper or on the fly, he delivers his love message for Mama Africa loud and clear.
PETER HARPER (tenor saxophone, composer)
Harper has been a torch-bearer for the avant-garde on four continents, as an instrumentalist and as an inspirational composer, since the early 1980’s. His searingly powerful sound manifests his longtime dedication to the practice of overtone’s and musical studies under Ratu Pandji, and the great Evan Parker. He has performed and recorded worldwide with Musiikki Oy, Steve Lacy, House Arrest (Paul Grabowsky), The Australian Art Orchestra, Night Z, Something Else, Where’s Henry, The Big One, GOJAM and BLOW.
IAN DIXON (trumpet, flugelhorn, composer)
Extensive travel and study of birdsong informs Ian Dixon’s unique approach to improvisation and composition. Best known for his work as a trumpet player and composer on the global electronica scene, crossdiscipline collaborations have led to work in film and television, with visual artists, choreographers and in digital media. Recently returned to Australia after 15 years based in London, Ian has performed and recorded in diverse musical settings with performers including UTE, Guru, Kenny Garrett, Irmin Schmidt (CAN), Kumo, Max Romeo, Corker Conboy, Ape, No-Man, Night Z, Ramjac, DJ Blame, Dub Pistols, Musiikki Oy and with Bobby Singh as West Park.
HUE BLANES (keyboards)
Having traveled the globe in search of good wine, cheese and other guilty pleasures, Hue has found that it is all better in Melbourne than anywhere else. That is why, after extensive study and performance in New York (Jason Moran, Fred Hersch) and New Orleans, London, Vancouver and Paris, Hue (known as ‘Hue-age’ and ‘The Seagull’) is stealing chips here for a while, performing with Harry Angus, Paul Williamson, Pez, Illy, Rumberos, True Live and his own projects - The Melodics, The Hue Blanes Ensemble, and Electric Opera.
CHRIS FRANGOU (electric bass)
Known for navigating a wide range of genres and textures on the electric bass touching on and being heavily influenced by music as far spread as jazz, funk, rock, balkan, hip-hop, east african music, blues, indian classical and middle eastern music. His diverse musical palate and experience on the electric bass has seen him composing and performing live and in the studio across the country for numerous Australian and international artists. Recently his 10 year career has taken him to refine his skills as an instrumentalist and composer through his music degree at Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE where he has had ongoing study under Melbourne bass player Christopher Hale and his recent trip to New York City where he studied under Matt Garrison (Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock), Jason Lindner, Felix Pastorius and Grammy nominated bass player Panagiotis Andreou (New York Gypsy All Stars, Gonzalo Grau Y La Clave Secreta).
NASH LEE (electric guitar)
ZHONU ‘NUI’ MOON aka FUTURE ROOTS (percussion)
The music played by Future Roots reflects a rich life journey that allows him to draw directly on his experiences and connections with diverse cultures and ways of life. From his upbringing in India by his Moroccan father and Australian mother to traveling across Asia, Africa the Middle East and Europe, from time spent in his ancestral homeland of North and West Africa to connecting with traditional and emerging cultures closer to home in the Australasian/Pacific region. His mentors include Rama Chrishna (Pondycherri School of Karnatic music), Pape Faye (National Ballet of Senegal), Cecil Carter (Nyabingi and Afro-Cuban rhythms, USA), Irie Ingram (Papua new Guinea and Cook Island rhythms). Performance highlights include appearances at festivals including Glastonbury, WOMADelaide, Garma Festival and Vancouver Folk Festival with artists such as Yothu Yindi, Horace Andy, Ganga Giri, Future Rootsand Afro Public Opinion Orchestra.
MATT HEAD (drums)
Black Jesus Experience’s tracks