Showing posts with label classical music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label classical music. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Alemu Aga - Ethiopia [Three Chordophone Traditions] [1972]


   R   E   U   P   L   O   A   D   

Alemu Aga, begenna master..

       Born in 1950 in Entoto, near Addis Ababa, Alemu Aga has played the Ethiopian traditional lyre begenna since he was 12, having been trained by a famous master, Aleqa Tessama Wolde-Ammanuel, who was his neighbour and teacher at his school.

       Graduated from the Addis Ababa University (in geography), he taught the begenna at the Yared Music School until 1980. He now teaches on a voluntary basis and focuses on his researches about the begenna.

       He has published numerous audiotapes and several CD's and appeared in concert worldwide. Nowadays, Alemu Aga is the most highly respected Begenna player of Ethiopia.

01   Selamta   [The Creation]   2:52
02   Fäbälähala   [The Creation]     2:40
03   ABBA Gran Motä   (Death of the Left-Handed)   5:30
04   Mädägäna Zäläsana Bätbaze   (About the Futility of Life)   4:31
05   Instrumental Melody   1:47
06   Tälafino Gomdär   3:52
07   Tene Eko   (I Am Yours and You are mine)   5:59
08   Ambasel   6:20
09   Seläla   (War Song)   3:56
10   Gämay Eney   (Come Little Girl and Chat with Me)   4:25
11   Wayä Luleho   5:03
12   Samni   (Kiss Me)   5:17

Monday, February 27, 2017

Yared Gedam - Solo Piano Ethiopian [2013] [ethiopia]

Yared Gedam - Solo Piano Ethiopian

Yared Gedam - 01 - Adirghe Helinyal (2:47)
Yared Gedam - 02 - Kedus (4:51)
Yared Gedam - 03 - TEMAS-Gen (3:46)
Yared Gedam - 04 - Adanye (2:54)
Yared Gedam - 05 - A-Melka-Low (3:55)
Yared Gedam - 06 - Melkam (3:22)
Yared Gedam - 07 - Wuletao (4:31)
Yared Gedam - 08 - Damun (1:47)
Yared Gedam - 09 - Baworau (4:58)
Yared Gedam - 10 - Befi-teh (3:12)

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Ashenafi Kebede - The Shepherd Flutist, Ethiopian Symphony [1968] [ethiopia]

         Ashenafi Kebede (1938 – May 8, 1998) was an Ethiopian composer, conductor, ethnomusicologist, historical musicologist, music educator, novelist, and poet.

        Kebede was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 1938 and was educated in musicology in the United States at the Eastman School of Music (1962), and Wesleyan University (M.A. 1969; Ph.D. 1971).

             He founded the National Saint Yared School of Music in Ethiopia, serving as its first director (1963–1968).

                He was designated a National Composer by Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I, in 1967. Shortly after that he began his graduate studies in the United States, and earned the first Ph.D. in ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University.

The Shepherd Flutist, Ethiopian Symphony

          Ashenafi was a prolific writer. His works include a novel, Confession (1964), articles in ethnomusicology journals, the book Roots of Black Music, and numerous articles in The Chronicler, the magazine of the Center for African-American Culture.

                 In his own compositions he combined Ethiopian and Japanese musical ideas. "Koturasia" is one such piece, written for flute, clarinet, violin, and Japanese koto. Among his other musical compositions were "Peace unto Ethiopia" and "The Life of Our Nation". His best known composition though rarely heard outside Ethiopia was "The Shepherds Flute", performed in 1968 with Hungarian State String Orchestra.

           In the United States, he was Director of the internationally known Ethiopian Research Council, consisting of a group of Ethiopian and American scholars and professionals. At the time of his death he was Director of the Center of African-American Culture at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida.

       Professor Kebede died in Tallahassee, Florida, May 8, 1998. As spoken by the man, "you are here for me, I am not here for you."


01 - The Shepherd Flutist I (8:52)
02 - The Shepherd Flutist II (3:23)
03 - The Shepherd Flutist III (4:40)
04 - The Shepherd Flutist IV (11:56)
05 - The Shepherd Flutist V (3:23)
                              Composed By – Ashenafi Kebede


06 - Ethiopian Symphony [part I & II] (7:40)
07 - Ethiopian Symphony III (12:12)
08 - Ethiopian Symphony IV (10:53)
                              Composed By – Ashenafi Kebede

Ethiopian Symphony in three movements written by Ashenafi Kebede
The Hungarian State String Orchestra with Lóránt Kovács (Flute) conducted by Ashenafi Kebede

The Ethiopian Symphony was dedicated to the 75th birthday of H.I.M. Haile Selassie I.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Tigist Ejigu - Kerehugn [2010] [ethiopia]

Tigist Ejigu - Almetam Kerehugn

Tigist Ejigu - 01 - Almetam Kerehugn (07:19)
Tigist Ejigu - 02 - Kiber Temesgen (10:25)
Tigist Ejigu - 03 - Filagote (04:31)
Tigist Ejigu - 04 - Befeker Menged Lai (06:35)
Tigist Ejigu - 05 - Kehonelesh Melkam (10:03)
Tigist Ejigu - 06 - Bebirr Ayigezam (05:53)
Tigist Ejigu - 07 - Lela Alayim (07:25)
Tigist Ejigu - 08 - Yefikir Wegagen (05:22)
Tigist Ejigu - 09 - Min Agegnesh Wedia (06:15)

Friday, February 17, 2017

Tigist Ejigu - Ambassel [1997] [ethiopia]

        R  E  U  P  L  O  A  D    

                                 Pianist Tigist Ejigu

                 Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Tigist Ejigu developed a passion for music when she was a little girl. She had a sharp ear for music, and when she reached 10th grade she join the prestigious Yared Music School of Addis Ababa. Tigist showed an uncanny ability to replicate on piano most any music to which she was given ear. Her formal training at Yared exposed her to a broader repertoire of music, and both her technical expertise and her interpretive insightfulness blossomed.

                 In 1989, Tigist graduated from Yared with honors. She began performing professionally at hotels and restaurants in Addis Ababa. Wabe Shebelle, the Ibex, the Samit and the Hilton in Addis Ababa were among the hosts of her performances. Her repertoire included faithful renditions of traditional Ethiopian, western classical, and popular international music. It also included sensitive interpretative variations on themes of traditional Ethiopian and western classical music.

                 Tigist moved to America in 1996. She first performed at small Ethiopian restaurants and nightclubs in Washington, DC. She performed solo and with small ensembles, and she primarily performed traditional Ethiopian music. As her notoriety evolved, she began playing across the US -including Seattle, Los Angeles, Boston, and New York. DC is her home, and audiences at the Washington Hilton and the Hilton Capital find great favor with her sensitive melding of Classical and popular international themes. Of late, she has focused upon performing her own compositions. They have a jazz like improvisational quality, yet they capture and reflect both traditional Ethiopian and Western Classical aesthetics. Her performances are heartfelt, and her music has a universal appeal while Ethiopia is forever present.

         Tigist's first album, Ambassel, has achieved international recognition. Her new second album is a collection of sensitive interpretations of Ethiopia's popular and traditional melodies. It is reflective of Tizita, Bati, Anchehoye Lene and Ambassel modes of expression.


Tigist Ejigu - 01 - Ambassel [a small village name found in Welo region,Ethiopia] (8:17)
Tigist Ejigu - 02 - Yematbela Wof [Unedible Bird] (6:38)
Tigist Ejigu - 03 - Yiwedegn Aywedegn [Does He Love Me, Does He Not] (6:37)
Tigist Ejigu - 04 - Marigne Biyeshalehu [Accept My Apolgy] (5:33)
Tigist Ejigu - 05 - Endit neh [How Are You?] (5:01)
Tigist Ejigu - 06 - Tizita [Nostalgia] (8:22)
Tigist Ejigu - 07 - S'thed s'ketelat [I'll Keep On Following Her Wherver She Goes] (5:06)
Tigist Ejigu - 08 - Letidar [For Marriage] (6:03)
Tigist Ejigu - 09 - Nafkote [My Beloved One Whom I Miss So Much] (6:41)
Tigist Ejigu - 10 - Yenne fiker [My Love] (5:07)

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Lemma GebreHiwot - various [ethiopia]

Lema GebreHiwot - Medina ena Zelesegna

Lemma GebreHiwot - 01 - Ayne Addis Zewoter (5:04)
Lemma GebreHiwot - 02 - Berye Eshururu (4:47)
Lemma GebreHiwot - 03 - Emam Woshebe (5:12)
Lemma GebreHiwot - 04 - Ere Endemin Alesh (3:41)
Lemma GebreHiwot - 05 - Eyoha (1:54)
Lemma GebreHiwot - 06 - Gamo Belu (3:37)
Lemma GebreHiwot - 07 - Gelele (3:58)
Lemma GebreHiwot - 08 - Giw Giw (6:09)
Lemma GebreHiwot - 09 - Gurumreme (6:08)
Lemma GebreHiwot - 10 - Hedech Alu (6:07)
Lemma GebreHiwot - 11 - Musheroch Mare Mare (6:14)
Lemma GebreHiwot - 12 - Sengo Megen (4:56)
Lemma GebreHiwot - 13 - Shemonmon (3:29)
Lemma GebreHiwot - 14 - Tey Man Nesh (5:14)
Lemma GebreHiwot - 15 - Yeweyn Abebaye (6:31)
Lemma GebreHiwot - 16 - Yewofe Birabeba (2:23)

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Melaku Tegegn - Classical Music [ethiopia]

Melaku Tegegn - Mela Tistegn

Melaku Tegegn - 01 - Alemush Mambo (6:50)
Melaku Tegegn - 02 - Kebetbata (6:31)
Melaku Tegegn - 03 - Tiztaye nesh (4:57)
Melaku Tegegn - 04 - Chelo malif tiru (3:57)
Melaku Tegegn - 05 - Endeanchi Alayehum (3:48)
Melaku Tegegn - 06 - Ayechewalew (4:04)
Melaku Tegegn - 07 - Bonbu Fikirsh (4:43)
Melaku Tegegn - 08 - Menew Teleyeshign (7:35)
Melaku Tegegn - 09 - Lebe Deg Yetenal (5:26)
Melaku Tegegn - 10 - Mela tisetiegn (5:23)
Melaku Tegegn - 11 - Yelebe Lay Esat (6:24)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Girma Yifrashewa - Love & Peace [2014] [ethiopia]

The best Ethiopian pianist Girma Yifrashewa

Girma Yifrashewa extended biography and additional info > find here !

01 - Girma Yifrashewa - The Shepherd with the Flute (6:48)
02 - Girma Yifrashewa - Chewata (8:44)
03 - Girma Yifrashewa - Elilta (6:47)
04 - Girma Yifrashewa - Sememen (9:21)
05 - Girma Yifrashewa - Ambassel (8:55)

"a rare and fascinating example of aesthetic adaptation and convergence" - The New York Times

"Gorgeous solo piano studies from Ethiopia... along with a meditative take on jazz that recalls George Winston" - Uncut Magazine

"On his first US release, Love & Peace (Unseen Worlds), Yifrashewa comes off as a fluid hybrid of Erik Satie, Vince Guaraldi, and Matthew Shipp at his most restrained. The performances are tonally rich and subdued, with Yifrashewa's folksy melodies given alternating emphasis—grandiloquent and hushed." - Chicago Reader

"The newest release on Unseen Worlds is a breathtaking collection of solo piano pieces by Ethiopian composer Girma Yifrashewa, who crafts a unique blend of hauntingly melodic works that recall Erik Satie, Keith Jarrett, and Debussy, but filtered through the Ethiopian pentatonic scale, tipping its hat toward the worlds of both jazz and classical music simultaneously. Easily one of the year's most engrossing classical/ambient works, this is vital music by an incredibly gifted composer and musician. Absolute highest recommendation." - Other Music

"A thoroughly engaging set of five solo piano settings ... Adding to the recording's appeal, each of the pieces conveys a satisfying sense of completeness, and to his credit, Yifrashewa consistently opts for emotional directness" - Textura

Friday, November 1, 2013

Girma Yifrashewa - The Shepherd with the Flute [2001]

   R   E   U   P   L   O   A   D   

     Born in Addis Ababa on 15 October 1967, Girma Yefrashewa learnt to play the Kirar, a harp-like traditional Ethiopian string instrument, at a tender age. He was introduced to piano at the age of 16 when he joined the Yared School of Music in Addis Ababa , where he studied for four years and graduated with a diploma in piano under Valentina Semenova. He then received a five-year bursary from the Ethiopian government to study at the Sofia State Conservatory of Music, in Bulgaria and graduated with a Masters in Piano under Professor Atanas Kurtev.

        It is in Bulgaria that he made an impact as a solo pianist holding shows throughout the country until his return to East Africa in 1995.
          His best achievement as a performer is in the sphere of romantic and impressionist repertoires, above all the piano works of Schumann, Schubert, Chopin and Debussy. He has a preference and well-determined approach to the music of Bach as well as to those of Mozart and Beethoven.

       Girma was privileged to have received scholarships for short-term specialization courses from the British and German Governments, at the Royal Academy of Music in London (1997) under Professor Frank Wibaut and at the Hochschule fur Music Und Theater – Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy – in Leipzig (1999) under Professor Helgeheide Schimdt , respectively.

       With regard to his work experience, on his return to Ethiopia in 1995, he took up a position with the Yared School of Music as a piano teacher where he worked until 2001. He was also working at the Sheraton Addis as a Pianist for one year (2000-2001). Now Girma is involved in his private work to promote Ethiopian and Classical Music throughout the continent and beyond. On his spare time, he also gives private piano lessons to students of different age groups.

       Girma has so far released three albums: The Shepherd with the Flute (2001), Meleya Keleme (2003) and Elilta (2005).

       Girma has many compositions (among which is the famed Shepherd with the Flute, based on the composition of Professor Ashenafi Kebede’s music) and has extensively worked on music arrangement. His latest album “Elilta” features exclusively his own compositions and arrangements and the pieces are all based on Ethiopian traditional tunes.

       In 2005, on the occasion of the celebrations of the 100th Anniversary of the commencement of Ethio-German diplomatic relations, Girma was given the unique opportunity to perform with the German Leipzig Youth Symphony Orchestra. The concert of German music (Beethoven’s Piano Concerto no. 2) and Ethiopian music (Girma’s own compositions) was highly acclaimed both in German (Leipzig and Berlin) and Addis Ababa.

       Girma has held many concerts both in Ethiopia and outside not only on his international tours (solo tour and with Ethiopian vocalists), but also on separate invitations sent to him (Egypt, Djibouti, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, Mauritius, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, South Africa, Seychelles, Zambia, Malawi, Bulgaria, Italy, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Australia, USA).

        In October 2009, Girma was invited for the International Symposium and Festival in The USA under the title of “Africa Meets North America “In the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).

                               The Shepherd with the Flute

      The 2001 CD, The Shepherd with the Flute, includes works of Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy, Mozart and Schumann, as well as a new work by the pianist himself. It is called The Shepherd Flutist (7:14) and is based on The Shepherd with the Flute, a composition of Ashenafi Kebede, an Ethiopian composer. 

01. Girma Yifrashewa - Für Elise (2:51)
02. Girma Yifrashewa - Fantasie-Impromptu Op.66 (5:19)
03. Girma Yifrashewa - The shepherd with the flute (7:14)
04. Girma Yifrashewa - Gymnopedie (3:57)
05. Girma Yifrashewa - Nocturen Op. 54 No 4 (3:51)
06. Girma Yifrashewa - Papillons Op.2 (15:43)
07. Girma Yifrashewa - Rondo alla Turca (3:30)
08. Girma Yifrashewa - Prelude No 2 (4:11)
09. Girma Yifrashewa - Clair de lune (4:51)
10. Girma Yifrashewa - Valse in A minor Op.34, No 2 (4:52)
11. Girma Yifrashewa - Arabesque Op.18 (6:26)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Mary Armeday / Mary Armede - Habibi [1998]

   R    E    U    P    L    O    A    D   

 Mary Armeday / Mary Armede

        Mary Armeday's love-folk songs and her unique krar playing style have become a classic in the history of ethiopian music and she will forever be remembered for her talent and her love for entertaining.

1. Mary Armeday - Yegu (10:39)
2. Mary Armeday - Zemeday (10:35)
3. Mary Armeday - Habibi (7:04)
4. Mary Armeday - Wey Ene (6:06)
5. Mary Armeday - Ehehe (7:24)
6. Mary Armeday - Endet Neh (7:26)
7. Mary Armeday - Weyo Ene (8:27)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Samuel Yirga - [2012] - Guzo [ethiopia]

       Guzo is the debut release of young Ethiopian pianist Samuel Yirga. Against the odds, Samuel found his way to music school in Addis Ababa and despite still being in his 20s and only having left music school relatively recently, he has developed at a pace remarkable for someone of his age. 

       He has gone on to become one of Ethiopia's most promising young musicians and composers and in recent years, Samuel has gained wider international recognition through his touring and recording with Ethio-fusion group Dub Colossus.

       The title, Guzo, means "journey" in Amharic, the official working language of Ethiopia. Recorded partly in Addis Ababa and partly in the UK at Real World Studios, it is the product of his years experimenting with the music of his roots and the outside influences of American jazz (particularly Keith Jarrett and Herbie Hancock), Latin, and classical music. It explores the traditional musical history of Ethiopia, the more modern Ethiojazz that has brought his country's music to international attention, ventures into big-band brass ensembles, moves through soul and funk, and then simmers with the deeply impassioned solo piano tracks. Whilst the solo piano pieces are introspective and deeply felt, Samuel has enlisted some great singers and instrumentalists from Ethiopia, Europe and the Caribbean. Featured vocalists are the Creole Choir of Cuba, a Cuban choir whose songs go back to their Haitian roots; Mel Gara, a British singer whose origins are in Iraq; and Nicolette, a Nigerian-British singer, famous for her collaborations with Massive Attack.

       While Sammy has been influenced by American jazz and funk, he also wanted to record some tunes which showed the great range of traditional music in Ethiopia. On these tracks, which he recorded in Addis Ababa, he was joined by some of the country's best young traditional instrumentalists.

       "His world is opening up," says Dubulah (aka Nick Page), the British musician and producer behind Transglobal Underground, Syriana and Dub Colossus and also producer of Guzo, "He's feeling his way around and this recording is a statement of where he's intending to go and what he has to offer. I think the result will surprise people."

        'Guzo' is both bold and sensitive. It is the start of Samuel Yirga's musical journey and a platform to showcase the extraordinary skill as both musician and composer of this emerging young talent. The album's roots might be firmly in the Ethiojazz of Samuel's homeland, but this young man from Addis has opened up a whole new door on a musical genre and region.


1. Abet Abet: is a traditional love song which features the raw and melodic notes of the Ethiopian one-stringed fiddle, the messenqo. Recorded in Addis, Sammy is accompanied by some of Ethiopia's best young traditional instrumentalists.

2. Tiwista: this is another well-known Ethiopian song and means 'nostalgia'. The tune is arranged with Sammy's own jazz-influenced base line. The melody is led by a subtle but powerful saxophone which weaves in and out of the piano through the track.

3. Ferma Ena Wereket: This tune's title means 'We don't need paper to love each other'. "Everyone can sing about love," says Sammy, "but the way you describe it is what's important." This track is a controversial statement about marriage.

4. Ye Bati Koyita: - a solo piano piece. The title means "A Time in Bati" - Bati is a town in northern Ethiopia, and also the name of the musical scale Samuel plays. Always the innovator, Samuel plays it not with the original time signatures in which it was written, but swapping between different timings to keep the tune fresh. The result is a mature, intricate take on an old Ethiopian melody which ripples with classical and jazz influences.

5. Nou Se Soleil: - Vocal introduction to I am the Black Gold of the Sun, sung by The Creole Choir of Cuba.

6. I am the Black Gold of the Sun: This song features guest vocalists The Creole Choir of Cuba, Nicolette and Mel Gara and is a re-working of the 1970s psychedelic soul classic. The three sets of vocals are underpinned by the funk-laden chords and flourishes of Sammy's jazz-infused piano playing. Page chose the song to cover because of Sammy's love of 1970s and '80s American music, and brought in those artists because together they told the story of a journey from Africa to the Caribbean, via the Middle East and Europe. The song brings with it the sunshine of the Caribbean, carried by the uplifting rich vocals of the Choir, as well as the urban tones of the British-based singers.

7. Dance With the Legend: a solo piano piece, which takes its inspiration from a song by Ethiopia's great singer Tilahun Gessese. The tune swings with a lilting rhythm and ripples with classical and jazz influences.

8. My Head: Recorded in the UK, with the regular Dub Colossus horn section, this track is an upbeat latin number.

9. Drop Me There: This piano solo written by Sammy features three of Ethiopian music's distinctive melodic scales and was written at Real World Studios last winter. "It was very quiet there," says Sammy of his time at Real World, "so I could really feel every note when I played."

10. The Blues of Wollo: Based on a famous Ethiopian song called Ambassel, featuring both traditional and modern instruments. Recorded in Addis, with wonderful keening vocals from Genet Masresha.

Bonus Track
11. African Diaspora: featuring and co-written by Nicolette, African Diaspora is a melancholic song which demands "Africa, why are you letting your people leave?" The song reverberates with muted horns and the gentle tones of Sammy's piano playing.


...young Ethiopian pianist who blends his soul and jazz influences with music of his homeland.
(Guzo) stacks up well next to the best music of swinging Addis. His three solo piano pieces show huge range: "Drop Me There" is crystalline and delicate..."Dance with the Legend" is as fluid as Keith Jarrett in Koln.
                                                                                Downbeat 4 ****        (USA)

No. 2 in Rhapsody's Top 10 World Albums...
Sometimes an album just takes your breath away. Swirling together contemporary jazz and Ethiopian grooves with a graceful boldness and elegant subtlety that makes this Addis Ababa-born pianist's youth hard to believe, Guzo lures you in from the first creeping...
                                                                                       Rhapsody   (Online USA)

Yirga's debut offers surprise after surprise.
Samuel Yirga is a pianist from Ethiopia whose debut record "Guzo"sits somewhere in the fertile ground where jazz mingles with R&B and funk to create soulful beauty. ...Yirga's appetite is big, and each surprise within Guzo renders easy comparisons useless. Yirga's debut offers surprise after surprise.
                                                                                      Los Angeles Times (USA)

CD of the year...Otherworldly jazz from young Ethiopian pianist with dizzying potential
This is both a bang up-to-the-minute album, but also a throwback to the glory days of Ethiopian jazz in the late 1960s and 1970s... the balance of instrumentation between brass, percussion and piano is a thing of wonder. ... the potential is dizzying and his joy in playing transmits wonderfully to the listener.
                                                                                          The Arts Desk (Online)

one of the most exciting and innovative jazz players in the world.
(Samuel Yirga's) classical sensibilities fused with the native folk sound has made this young artist one of the most exciting and innovative jazz players in the world.
                                                                                         Huffington Post   (USA)

Samuel Yirga: A Prodigy Reviving Ethiopian Jazz
Yirga has had to fight for his right to be himself, and in the end, the voice and vision of a distinctive composer shines through in this impressive debut.
                                                                                 NPR Music Online        (USA)

...masterfully produced...
...his new album Guzo is a talented blend of sounds...and sparkling cameo performances.
                                                                                         The Africa Report (UK)

...fierce essential purchase for anyone...
who has fallen for the jazzier end of the ethiopiques spectrum. Among the highlights here - the swinging groove of My head...and I Am The Black Gold of the Sun.
                                                                                                               Mojo  (UK)

Powerful and beautiful...9 out of 10
                                                                                          Stereoplay  (Germany)

...Yirga should be an exciting prospect to discover for any jazz fan.
One moment he's pouring out emotive, classical jazz, the next fusing traditional Ethiopian sounds and Ethiojazz with sparse piano and elements of funk, or working alongside soulful guest vocalists.
                                                                       Loughborough echo online    (UK) beyond its measure.
...some outstanding jazz soloing...
                                                             The Weekend Australian       (Australia) enjoyably diverse set as leader.
Guzo ranges from ruminative solo piano to the ebullient party blast of My Head... The Creole Choir of Cuba join him for an epic take on the psychedelic soul groove I Am The Black Gold of The Sun.
                                                                                                     The Times  (UK)

Guzo - Track 5 on Songlines Top of the World
...It's not often that one is greeted by such a strong debut, so effortlessly shot through with intelligence and creativity. ...a project that successfully takes the tunes and arrangements of Ethiopia's much-documented golden age and updates the into a modern setting, consolidating their originality and power in the process.
                                                                                                      Songlines   (UK)

... it's a great introduction
If you're already a fan of Ethiojazz, this is as good an indication as any of its new direction and if you're unfamiliar with the genre, it's a great introduction.
                                                                                          The Morning Star (UK)

Dub Colossus's young Ethiopian pianist is an incandescent talent.
                                                                                          The Independent (UK)

Summer anthem? Recon so.
(I am the Black Gold of the Sun)...some sublime vocals from The Creole Choir Of Cuba..
                                                                                                      Echoes       (UK)

...His talent is remarkable
...influences of blues and funk clearly audible in the slower parts, while the frantic rhythms gripped listeners with anxiety.
                                                                         Spaceship News, Perth
                                                        (Live review from The Ellington Jazz Club)                   impressive album.
                                                                                            The Guardian      (UK)

...accomplished debut.
Yirga draws on his country's best-known musical currency - the dark flavours of Seventies Ethio-Jazz - on this accomplished debut.
                                                                                 The Daily Telegraph     (UK)

...solo mixture of abstraction and funky jamming
...solo mixture of drifting Monkish abstraction and HeadHunter-styled Hammond and Rhodes funky jamming. 'I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun' benefits from the Creole Choir Of Cuba's blissful gospel singing.
                                                                                  The Financial Times     (UK)

Impressive debut from Ethio-jazz pianist - 7/10
Twentysomething Yirga is a man on a mission - to become Ethiopia's greatest pianist. He's surely halfway there. The best tracks here align him convincingly with the rediscovered 'Ethio Jazz' of the 1960's - "Twista", with its funky one-string fiddle, both entice.
                                                                                            Uncut Magazine  (UK)

Incredible ... this album has absolutely blown my socks off!
                                                               Gilles Peterson - BBC 6 Music        (UK)

An impressive debut album that attests to the originality of its author.
Guzo, the debut set by Ethiopian pianist Samuel Yirga, is such a set. In short, this is an impressive debut album that attests to the originality and expressiveness of its author.
                                                                                    BBC Music Online        (UK)

It goes without question that Yirga has talent...Yirga is a performer.
...his debut solo album Guzo is sure to launch him straight into the forefront. It goes without question that Yirga has talent; every track demonstrates virtuosity and jazz know-how....Yirga is a performer. The album oozes with feeling and heart. Every track is so full of artistic sensibility that it's hard not to be sucked up in the performance. ...piano solos like 'Yeh Bati Koyita' and 'Drop Me There', which are painfully beautiful. ...rarely is an album able to bring it's audience along for a passionate ride, full of ups and downs. Guzo does exactly that. And if Yirga can perform with such spirit on an album, I can only imagine what it would be like to hear him live, something I am definitely looking forward to.
                                                                                 NOMAD's Playlist (Australia)

...melodic themes that touched the heart.
Though sparingly unleashed, his deliberate, eastern-inflected solos were thoroughly transporting. The frantic final selection, 6 and 4, married a northern Ethiopian mode to a southern rhythm...propulsive interplay with bassist Yoseph Hailemariam Bekele and star drummer Nathaniel Zewde sounded like top-flight funk in anybody's language.
                        The Age & The Canberra Times (Live review from Comedy Theatre, Melbourne International Jazz Festival)   (Australia) of the most thrilling bands on the world stage.
His opening solo piece was staggering in its invention, facility and narrative skill. He led us through a fantasia of idioms, drawing on Ethiopian, jazz, Cuban, funk and classical...with the ease of one with a deep understanding of the convergence of their essences, rather than the disparity of their surfaces. On Tiwista his improvising was seismic in its power and transporting in its range... Feleke Woldemariam (tenor saxophone), Nathaniel Zewde (drums) and Yoseph Hailemariam (electric bass), musicians worthy of Yirga's singular gifts. Woldemariam played with a fluttering quality to his notes...suddenly the commonplace tenor saxophone became exotic and carried immense emotional sway. The explosive Abet Abet...Rhythmically the piece metamorphosed into the sort of funk that would lead some people to lock up their children rather than let them be corrupted by such raw, visceral and wanton music. breathtaking in its intricacy and complexity, while maintaining inexorable grooves.
                                                             The Brisbane Times (Live review from  The Blue Beat Jazz Club) (Australia)

...staggeringly brilliant album.
Samuel Yirga is a bright new musical flame who shows that Ethiopia's rich jazz heritage is still alive and thriving in his young hands.
                                                                      Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)

One of the world's more remarkable young pianists is a 26-year-old Ethiopian who did not even touch a piano until he was 16.
...highly diverse - variously solo or ensemble, instrumental or vocal, 'pop' or not. Guzo includes three jaw-dropping piano-only cuts; they do not imitate Keith Jarrett but are in the same league as his solo flights.
                                         Preview - The Weekend Planet Radio     (Australia)

....Yirga is such an exciting artist
...that deserves the recognition he is getting. Guzo is just a taster of what is yet to come from this talented artist.

"It has all the ingredients of a masterpiece and certainly those that make it top of my playing list. Great balance between avant garde jazz and sweet r&b vibe in some tracks and those Ethiopian scales... all tracks are outstanding!"
                    JPR at Simply Out Of This World/Covent Garden Radio      (UK)

I feel very privileged to have an early preview of this fantastic album."                                                               Juice FM

It seems he's pulled out all the stops. His classical music experience shows in his sensitive and thoughtful approach to his solo piano work like Ye Bati Koyita and Drop Me There and at the same time can make a beautiful Charles Stepney tune like I am the Black Gold of the Sun sound fresh yet again. Powerful and dynamic performances on other tracks recorded with the UK and Ethiopian musicians show off his improvisational style but I keep returning to his solo piano work. Thoroughly rewarding album."
                                                                                 AfroBase on Juice FM   (UK)