Greetings from Michael & Alex!
It has been 25 years since that photo was taken and sadly neither of us has made it back to Abidjan since. So we are delighted to say that this February we'll be flying to Ivory Coast for a long-overdue reunion with our Zieti bandmates Laurent & Narcisse! We have our plane tickets and accommodations all set and are beyond excited to see them after such a long time.
But this isn't just a visit. We are fundraising to buy equipment for Studio Djépao, a multitrack audio/video space at Laurent's family home in the western Ivoirian mountains. Studio Djépao will be the only facility of its kind in the region and its focus will be on preserving and expanding the rich musical traditions of Laurent and Narcisse's Guere heritage. It will also link via internet with Narcisse's newly-opened Studio Yeoue in Abidjan and to our home studios in the States so that Zieti can collaborate on new music and videos for years to come.
Visit Zieti's Bandcamp page to hear 2 new tracks co-produced by Narcisse and Michael in 2023.
Zoom video from 2023 with footage from 2013.
In December Laurent began construction on Studio Djépao, clearing land and making 1,500 mud and cement bricks with his cousin who is a mason. They lay the first foundation bricks immediately after the new year and Laurent's goal is to have things fully built and outfitted in Spring 2024. With any luck by this time next year he'll be putting out new music and videos from his mountain studio, featuring sights and sounds we can only imagine today.
First bricks at the future site of Studio Djépao!
Laurent's three-man crew and brick-making machine.
Zieti has had beaucoup successes and many more setbacks over the years, including war, separation, brushfire accidents, motorcycle crashes, transcontinental album releases, NPR interviews, children born, parents aging and passing and all manner of life's twists and turns. But because of the blessing and support of our incredible partners Natasha and Ellen, and our friend Cherif's crucial help with shipping and housing, plus so many others, we have never lost our connection to one another or our hope for Zieti's future.
So thank you for taking the time to read this and for considering a donation! To those who have supported Zieti in the past we thank you again for all you've helped us accomplish over the years. If you are new to Zieti's story we invite you to explore our website to learn more. We'll be posting our progress and other interesting things to YouTube, Facebook, and elsewhere (@zietimusic), so please also follow and pass the word if you can.
Michael & Alex
2023 Zieti relaunch message from Narcisse & Laurent.
PS: If we are fortunate enough to exceed our fundraising goal we will use every penny to help Studio Djépao & Studio Yeoue grow and succeed. In the future we would like to open a rehearsal & demo-recording space in Abidjan to support Zieti and other musicians who want to perform live, original music. A space like this is guaranteed to become a hub for roots musicians in Abidjan, revive Zieti as a live band in Côte d'Ivoire, and provide a sustainable business to support the Zieti family for the foreseeable future.
Zieti performing with King Shabba in 1998.
Minimum equipment for Studio Djépao:
2 PC laptops (w/ min studio specs)
3 external backup drives
powered USB hub
Presonus 1824c interface
Yamaha HS5 studio monitor pair w/cables
Headphone distribution (x4) amp
5 studio headphones
Power converters/backup battery
American-style power strips/ext cords
M-Audio Keystation 49 mk3 midi controller
6-8 microphones w/mounts, cables
Used acoustic/electric guitar
Set of 5 diatonic harmonicas w/ neck holder
2- 4K video cameras
2- extra batteries for video cameras
2- chargers for extra batteries
4- 128GB mini SDXC cards
Thank you again!