Get ready to discover one of my favorite bands so far; Quarter to africa! (And no they’re not africans). They’re from Israel, they have the Groove and no one will stand still when they’re doing their thing! Check by yourself!
Quarter To Africa (Q2A) is an uplifting Ethno-funk ensemble, combining electric Oud grooves, saxophone, trumpet, electric guitar, bass, drums, percussion, synthesizer and vocals. Its music creates an uplifting collage, fusing traditional Arabic “Makam » scales with African rhythms, jazz and funk. The result is a unique mixture of East meet West.
In the past few years, Quarter to Africa has performed across the world spreading their message while headlining several festivals and major events, including the RedSea Jazz festival, Jarasum fest (Korea), Magic live fest (Japan) Israel film festival, the international Jazz festival, Jerusalem Festival and more.
Collaborating with many top artists as Ester rada, Reef cohen, Yossi fine, and the great Avishai cohen.
Can you start by giving a brief presentation of every member group and how did you know each other? When did you start your group and how did you think about it?
The Q2A concept was conceived by Yakir Sasson & Elyasaf Bashari, both of whom are experienced, seasoned respected musicians who met in Jaffa to discover a shared musical language and similar outlook on life. The music has absorbed the cultural aspects of each musician’s background. Both have been brought up in homes influenced by the traditions and heritages of Yemen, Persia and Iraq. Their personal style that was further refined later at the Jerusalem Music Academy and The Center for Middle Eastern Classical Music. This has consequently formed the solid base for a fresh aesthetic of which name they’ve coined AFRO-ARAB, or simply- “Afrab”.
Other members of the group joined later on ,and all are good friends and are members of the family. we met them in various productions we wortk with.
Who inspired and inspires you the most?
Oum koltum and Bob Marley because their music has no age and is endless.
Any artist you loved to work with or would love to?
Ziggy Marley, Kandric Lamar and Jean Paul simply because they got the groove.
What are your plans ?
- We just came back from a very sucsessful tour in asia (South Korea and Japan).
- And we are about to release new single in Japan soon.
- New singles are coming worldwide for the next album that will come out later on 2018.
- Also In 2018 we are planning to tour in Europe and other parts of the world.
How would you define your music?
Quarter To Africa (Q2A) is a multi-cultural roots ensemble, combining electric Oud grooves, saxophone, trumpet, percussion, guitar, bass, drums, synthesizer and vocals. Our music creates an uplifting collage, fusing traditional Arabic “Makam » scales with African rhythms, jazz and funk. Some call it ethno – funk, some call it afrofunk, we call it afro – arab, or as love to call our genre – AFRAB
Why did you name your group « Quarter to Africa »?
Quarter refer to the quarter tons in makam scales, and Africa is where the groove started.. You can say in some way that we are in Africa. But not quite.. so its quarter to africa!
Can you give us a list of your 10 favorites songs?
- James Brown – Super bad
- Bob Marley –Redemption song
- Oum koltum – Inta omri
- Anderson Paak- Come down
- Stevey wonder – Too high
- Charley Parker – Donna Lee
- John Coltrane – A Love Supreme
- Kendrick Lamar – ELEMENT.
- Jimi Hendrix – Purple Haze
- Ester rada – Guilt
Can you tell us something special about the group you never said in an interview before?
We recorded a song with the great Avishai Cohen (bass) and he joined us on stage on several occasions.. Nowdays, main members of Q2A are the rhythm section musicians of his band. They also arranged and recorded his new album 1970 with him, and currently performing with him across the word as his rhyme section band .
( Spécial thanks to the whole band and specially Amir, the manager, for being very kind and keeping me updated about everything the band does. That made me very happy. You made me want to move to Israel guys. )