There's an amazing variety of music to hear in Ethiopia - so many colourful styles. All, as far as I can see, unique. And not widely known outside the country.
We were lucky enough to be in Addis Ababa when the Goethe Institute arranged a big open-air concert to celebrate a hundred years since the first recordings of Ethiopian music.
There are dozens of great youtubes of popular artists. You may like these few.
Azmari is widely popular. It's a call-and-response style. The two vocalists improvise entirely as they sing short verses about each other, complimentary, joking or otherwise humourously insulting.
The african drums and masinko (1-string Ethiopian lute) always feature.
It's popular in 'folkloric' bars and we got involved in a performance in a bar in Gonder, the three of us and a local wearing an England football shirt.
The singer is Bethlehem Dagnachew, the dance style is Eskista.
More Eskista - there's a lot of it in Ethiopia.
And more, on stage in a talent show. Performed by Mahlet Wagnew.
More from a different setting in Gonder. Featuring Gizachew Teshome.
Some scenes shot at the sixteenth-century castle of Fasil Ghebbi, where we spent a little time.
Eskista again, featuring Tadese Mekete amongst many others.
Scenes from Gonder.
The last eskista - maybe. Watch the little performers at 1:43 and 3:08.
Shem City Steppers.
Nick Page collaborated with many Ethiopian musicians to form 'Dub Colossus' for the western market.
Tizita is a traditional Ethiopian folk song. The title means 'memories'. Sung by Azmari singer Aster Aweke.
Some Ethiopian jazz.
The Homeless Wanderer.
Ethiopian pianist Emahoy Tsegue-Maryam Gebru.
The first classical solo pianist in Ethiopia, she is now in her 80s and has lived since the 1950s in the Ethiopian Orthodox monastery in Jerusalem. Still peforming.
She became known in the west through the release of the 'Ethiopiques No.21' CD.
Sung by Ejigayehu Shibabaw, an Ethiopian singer who achieved international fame under the name 'Gigi'.
Posted by Ken Thomas at February 05, 2012 08:45 PM GMT
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