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Drowned in Sound: Kaethe Hostetter Delivers World Music

American violinist, Kaethe Hostetter will grace the stage at the Pocahontas Opera House with world music on Saturday November 20th from 7:30p-9:30pm. She is a violinist, composer, and bandleader, who’s been deeply invested in exploring, preserving, and expanding Ethiopian traditional sounds for over 15 years.

Hostetter is a violinist and composer who’s been deeply invested in exploring, preserving, and expanding Ethiopian traditional sounds…

Hostetter was born and raised in a musical household, within a community of artists and musicians in Santa Cruz, California. Growing up, she was surrounded by artists in a communal, almost tribal environment, full of colorful role models including musicians, storytellers, and artists.

Both of her parents were professional, working musicians and culture workers.

Both of her parents were professional, working musicians and culture workers. Her mother, Irene Herrmann, is a music educator at UC Santa Cruz, as well as the executor of composer Paul Bowles’ musical estate, and a frequent collaborator with composer Lou Harrison. Her father, Paul Hostetter was a luthier, internationally-known for the restoration of rare stringed instruments, and his knowledge of folk music of the world.

Hostetter founded a music school and started a band called QWANQWA

She is a founding member of the critically-acclaimed Debo Band, has recorded several albums, and has toured internationally, including a life-changing tour of East Africa in 2009. Soon after this ’09 tour, she relocated to Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, immersing herself in the country’s deep musical culture. In her eleven years there, she founded a music school and started a band called QWANQWA, which brought together some of the most accomplished players in Addis Ababa’s music scene. The band recorded 3 albums with several international tours.

In March of last year, Hostetter relocated to her hometown of Santa Cruz to quarantine with her family. As the months passed, the political situation in Ethiopia devolved, and humanitarian crises on many levels kept her from returning.

Reflecting on her time in Addis and thankful to have dodged some imminently worrying events back in the region, she produced and recorded a body of work for solo violin centered around her rich experiences in Ethiopia. She is currently planning a collaboration with digital artist Lark Adler to elevate the project into a multimedia experience, incorporating projections of the fabric videos she’s made, as well as some street sounds and other visuals. Some of the venues that are presenting QWANQWA in 2022 are currently hosting her solo show and paving the way to include the culture by introducing the sounds, atmospheres, themes, and bandmates. Learn more about this artist at kaethehostetter.com

John Lilly performs a Hank Williams Tribute slated for November 6th, 7:30p-9:30pm.

Don’t miss Kaethe Hostetter at The Pocahontas Opera House. And earlier in the month, John Lilly performs a Hank Williams Tribute slated for November 6th, 7:30p-9:30pm.

The opera house is located at 818 Third Ave. in downtown Marlinton and is Pocahontas County’s premier performing arts center. It is an intimate venue, with seating for about 250, and is part of the West Virginia Historic Theatre Trail. Its annual performance series brings more than a dozen performances on its stage each year, ranging from bluegrass to jazz, folk to musical theatre and everything in between. For more information and to buy tickets, visit pocahontasoperahouse.org or call 304-799-6645.

– HashtagWV #137. November 2021.
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HashtagWV Art & Entertainment is a high-quality print and digital multimedia platform for all things West Virginia and the greater Appalachian region. The editorial focus is local music, unique shopping, the arts, events, theatre, and food and drinks. tiktok.com/@hashtagwv

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