Thursday, March 16, 2017
Saturday, March 4, 2017
After fleeing their homeland of Ethiopia in the late '70s to avoid conflict with the Marxist government, a trio of reggae musicians made their way to the United States. Landing in Chicago, the three musicians began playing their African and Jamaican-flavored jams in reggae clubs around the city.
Fronted by singer/guitarist Mulu Gessesse, the band consisted of Mulu's brother Zeleke Gessesse and close friend Meluka Retts.
In 1980, the band assumed the name Dallol, and put together a demo tape. Dallol gained a sizable following in Chicago quickly with its distinct Ethiopian-flavored sound.
The demo soon found its way all over the country, outside of the United States, across the Caribbean and into the hands of a certain famous family in Jamaica.
"It was 1981, right after Bob (Marley) died," Mulu recalled. "Our tape made its way to Rita (Marley), and she asked us to go on down to Jamaica. That was our first contact with the Marleys."
Contacts with the first family of reggae proved to be a good thing for Dallol. Rita Marley produced the band's first full-length album and helped the band out in a number of ways. Lodging and other commodities were provided to Dallol by the Marleys as the band made its tour of the islands.
It wasn't long before the Marleys became more than contacts, with friendships forming between Dallol and Bob's son, Ziggy Marley.
"Ziggy was only 10 years old when we met him," Mulu explained. "As a matter of fact, he played his first show with us."
Good ties with the Marleys continued, and soon Dallol was asked to tour with Ziggy's newly formed band "Ziggy and the Melody Makers." Dallol's Ethiopian and reggae roots served as a perfect backdrop to Ziggy's continuation of his father's style and heartfelt messages.
In the late '80s, Dallol toured and recorded with Ziggy. The result of the combined effort was heard worldwide. One platinum and one gold album elevated Dallol to superstar status in the reggae industry.
"That experience was great because it enabled us to go all over the world," Mulu said.
After about five years with Marley, Dallol returned to its second home in Chicago. Included in the move were a couple line change ups and a change of name for the group. Upon the addition of three more members, including two female vocalists, Dallol changed its name to Baaro.
Since moving back to Chicago, Baaro has made many national, as well as international, media appearances.
Included in Baaro's impressive list of accomplishments are appearances on David Letterman, Soul Train, the NAACP Image Awards, BBC and the Arsenio Hall Show. Baaro's most recent television appearance was a slot on the Oprah Winfrey Show three weeks ago.
The band has continued doing what it does best. Recording three CDs (one in 1986, 1991 and this year's "Rhythm City"), Baaro has greatly expanded its fan base, particularly in the Midwest.
"Everywhere we go, we are getting very positive reactions, and they love our arrangements, melodies and harmonies," Mulu said. "Every new place we go to, they keep wanting us to come back. Our base has been expanding all the time. Colleges, especially, have responded very well. The last time we came to Ames, we had a wonderful party. The action and response was incredible. The same thing is happening everywhere we go."
"Rhythm City" captures Baaro's long and eventful career by staying true to the sounds of Dallol but also adding depth with the addition of the newest members.
Capturing the bands message of togetherness, love of all people and unity, the album also stays true to reggae roots.
"I think the newest album reflects our experience," Mulu said. "You'll obviously hear reggae, and you'll also hear some of our Ethiopian background. It's a blend of Africa, Jamaica and urban-American music."
The album draws on a number of musical influences, including Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder, singers from Africa and South Africa, as well as pop melody influences from the Beatles.
Being able to play music for a career has proven to be a fulfilling thing for Baaro.
"Music gives me a medium for me to express my inner feelings," Mulu said. "Any time I get inspired about a certain idea or a certain feeling, I just go sit down and play my guitar. I'm able to transform that abstract thought into music. Seeing the finished product with the band and then recording and listening to it gives me an incredible feeling."
Baaro - 01 - Nanye (3:59)
Baaro - 02 - No More (4:25)
Baaro - 03 - Music (4:48)
Baaro - 04 - Ashema (3:11)
Baaro - 05 - My Only One Girl (4:08)
Baaro - 06 - I Ain't Got Nothing (4:39)
Baaro - 07 - Drift Away (4:28)
Baaro - 08 - Rhythm City (3:52)
Baaro - 09 - Ebolala (3:37)
Baaro - 10 - One Night Feeling (4:06)
Monday, February 27, 2017
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)
Monday, February 20, 2017
Born 34 years ago in Adama, an Ethiopian city also known as Nazret, Ada Kassaye came to Oakland 15 years back to join her mother and several of her brothers and sisters. She first attracted attention in Northern California’s large Ethiopian community through her effusive dancing at cultural events and is now hoping to follow in the footsteps of such Ethiopian singers as Aster Aweke and Ejigayehu “Gigi” Shibabaw, both of whom lived in the Bay Area prior to finding international fame.
Ada Kassaye - Yamral
Many of the songs on “Yamral” reflect Kassaye’s homesickness for Ethiopia. She has been back twice since moving to California and hopes to return soon in the wake of her CD release. Family members in Ethiopia, she says, “called me and told me, ‘I heard you on the radio today.’”
“I’m happy,” she adds. “The door is open for me.”
Ada Kassaye - 02 - Ya Gobez (5:05)
Ada Kassaye - 03 - Hagere (5:39)
Ada Kassaye - 04 - Yamral (4:37)
Ada Kassaye - 05 - Baschalegn (4:26)
Ada Kassaye - 06 - Adama (4:24)
Ada Kassaye - 07 - Berena gebere (4:50)
Ada Kassaye - 08 - Min yishalegnal (5:00)
Ada Kassaye - 09 - Enate (5:23)
Ada Kassaye - 10 - Yemesgen (4:29)
Ada Kassaye - 11 - Madi shishay (5:30)
Ada Kassaye - 12 - Lemeles (3:02)
Thursday, February 9, 2017
The Lalibelas are led by bassist and composer Yoseph H. Bekele who arrived in Australia in 2012 from Ethiopia. He has toured internationally with leading East African musicians, including Aster Aweke, Samuel Yirga, Mahmoud Ahmed, and has been a mainstay of the Ethiopian music scene, having played bass and guitar with a huge variety of singers.
The Lalibelas bring together talented Australian and Ethiopian musicians, that perform Yoseph’s Ethio-Jazz and funk compositions. Yoseph developed a strong friendship with Harry James Angus through MAV’s Visible Music Mentoring Program in 2013 and are continuing to collaborate musically.
Guitar - Adam Halliwell
Saxophone - Solomon Sisay
Drums - Zelalem Negatu
Baritone Saxophone - Macks Dowling
Harmonica - Chris Maunders
Bass - Yoseph Hailemariam
Keyboard - Stephen Khlentzos
Trumpet - Harry James Angus
This recording captures the raw sound of The Lalibelas, created in a few short but high-energy hours full of improvisation, twists and turns, and no overdubs or turning back.
The Lalibelas with Harry James Angus - 1. Awdamet (4:40)
The Lalibelas with Harry James Angus - 2. That Song (4:51)
The Lalibelas with Harry James Angus - 3. Atamba Sil (7:26)
The Lalibelas with Harry James Angus - 4. Kendegena (5:48)
The Lalibelas with Harry James Angus - 5. Selam (8:32)
Monday, February 6, 2017
Born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Chachi Tadesse has used her roots to grow an international music career. At the age of 16 Chachi joined a well known Ethiopian cover-band, touring extensively while building her musical skills and fan base. In 1982 Chachi moved to the USA, taking classes in Music, acting and modeling and touring extensively with reggae artists.
Chachi Tadesse - I am An African
While living in the U.S. Chachi recorded er first album, combining Amharic lyrics with Reggae beats to create a unique and sought after sound. Following the success of her first album, Chachi joined forces with Dallol, Ziggy Marley's former band, to tour the U.S. and the Caribbean. In the late 1990's Chachi teamed up with producer Clive Hunt at the famous Kariang Studios in Jamaica to produce a collaborative album with some of the biggest names in Raggea.
Over the years Chachi has become a pop icon not only in Ethiopia but across Africa and its diaspora. She has appeared at large international music festivals including Reggae on the River and the Bob Marley Birthday Festival in Jamaica. In Ethiopia her 'I am an African' concert at Meskel square brought upwards of 40,000 attendees.
Chachi Tadesse - 01 - I am An African (7:46)
Chachi Tadesse - 02 - Happy Song (4:57)
Chachi Tadesse - 03 - I am An African (remix) (6:52)
Chachi Tadesse - 04 - Abbaba Janhoy (4:08)
Chachi Tadesse - 05 - Hungry Children (1:58)
Chachi Tadesse - 06 - Sad Situation (5:38)
Chachi Tadesse - 07 - H.I.M. Haile Selassie (5:05)
Chachi Tadesse - 08 - One Day (5:25)
Chachi Tadesse - 09 - Smile Ethiopia (3:58)
Chachi Tadesse - 10 - Yeandiyosh Alem (5:12)
Sunday, February 5, 2017
Elias Negash is an accomplished musician who has combined his Native Ethiopian music with his jazz education, and influences from the world music segment. He played through the seventies and became one of the pioneering figures to have brought Reggae and African music to the Bay Area with smash hit groups including Obeah, Axum, Caribbean All Stars and the Rastafarians. After moving to Los Angeles Elias worked on the Royal Princess Cruise ship out of South Hampton England for four months. He has also done sound track for Television Movie in titled Glitz and also preformed on a TV series Murder She Wrote. Elias has also traveled as a Solo pianist and with Magyk Band to Japan.
Elias Negash - Saba (Sheba)
In addition to his role as a musician, Elias dedicates his time in multiple humanitarian efforts such as fundraising HIV Aids research and treatment, building schools and water-well in the rural areas of Ethiopia. Further, Elias is currently the president of Ethiopian Arts forum that strives to accomplish its objectives through the presentation of Ethiopian Music, Dance, Poetry, Drama and Visual Arts to the community.
Elias has put out five solo CDs titled Love, Harrambe (lets pull together), Peace, Feel Like Dancin’ and his last CD titled “JAZZED UP”
Elias Negash - 01 - My Eyes Are Hungry / Aynoche Terabu (6:55)
Elias Negash - 02 - Miss Ethiopia (Ene Negn Bay Manesh) (6:03)
Elias Negash - 03 - Addis Ababa Bete (My Home Addis Ababa) (9:06)
Elias Negash - 04 - Ye Hare Shererit / Tezeta (6:34)
Elias Negash - 05 - Meskerem (Ethiopian New Year Song) (6:21)
Elias Negash - 06 - Be Bega (Summer Time) (5:30)
Elias Negash - 07 - Sunset Piano (4:53)
Elias Negash - 08 - Zemen (Era) (6:15)
Elias Negash - 09 - Tabia (Station) (7:03)
Elias Negash - 10 - Saba (Sheba) (6:42)
Elias Negash - 11 - Africa Unite (4:25)
Elias Negash - 12 - Summer Time (Be Bega) (4:28)
Elias Negash - 13 - Summer Time (4:28)
Elias Negash - 14 - Muziqawi Silt (6:32)
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
R E U P L O A D
Meklit Hadero - Float and Fall
Meklit Hadero, known simply as "Meklit", is a singer and songwriter based in San Francisco, California. She is known for her soulful performing style, and for combining jazz, folk, and East African influences in her music. Born in Ethiopia, she was raised in the U.S. and attended college at Yale, where she studied political science.
Shortly after graduation, Meklit moved to San Francisco and became immersed in the city's thriving arts scene. "Meklit is an artistic giant in the early stages," wrote a reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle after witnessing an early performance in the city's Mission District. "She sings of fragility, hope and self-empowerment, and exudes all three. What's irresistible, above all, is her cradling, sensuous, gentle sound. She is stunning."
Named a TED Global Fellow in 2009, Meklit has served as an artist-in-residence at New York University, the De Young Museum, and the Red Poppy Art House. Currently a fellow of the Wildflowers Institute, Meklit has also completed musical commissions for the San Francisco Foundation and for theatrical productions staged by Brava! For Women in the Arts. She is the founder of the Arba Minch Collective, a group of Ethiopian artists in diaspora devoted to nurturing ties to their homeland through collaborations with both traditional and contemporary artists there.
As a Senior TED Fellow since 2011 , she co-founded the Nile Project with Egyptian ethno-musicologist Mina Girgis and has since participated in 2 artist residencies (Aswan, 2013 and Uganda in 2014) uniting musicians from 11 countries all along the Nile Basin.
Meklit has released five records to date. The first was a self-produced and released eight-song EP entitled Eight Songs (2008). The second , her first full-length LP, On a Day Like This... released to wide critical acclaim in 2010 , was recorded at San Francisco's Closer Studios and produced by Eric Moffat and Unsound Recording. Hailed by Filter magazine for "[combining] New York jazz with West Coast folk and African flourishes, all bound together by Hadero's beguiling voice.". It won Meklit feature stories by NPR, PBS, and National Geographic. The San Francisco Chronicle called her " an artistic giant in the making " . She then ventured into a creative collaboration called CopperWire , along with two hip emcees also from the Ethiopian diaspora , Gabriel Teodros and Burntface . Together they created the first hip hop space opera , "Earthbound" which hit #5 in CMJ's hiphop charts . A complete change came with the 2012 release of her extraordinary harmonic duets with Oakland blues and soul crooner Quinn DeVeaux, simply titled Meklit & Quinn. The duo covered terrain as diverse as Arcade Fire (their version of "Tunnels" left many speechless with its simple beauty) , Lou Reed , Neil Young and Stevie Wonder.
Now she makes yet another quantum leap , in her latest solo album We Are Alive . Produced by sonic genius Eli Crews (best known for his work with tUnE-yArDs) , her inimitable composition talents and unique voice take infinite and inventive flight , from her jazz-standard sounding "A-Train" to the fiery build of "Waiting for Earthquakes" , weaving through a dark and tantalizing version of The Police classic "Bring On the Night" via her funky take on an Ethiopian tune, "Kemekem " (which she subtitles " I Like Your Afro!") , winding up with the grande finale, the declaration "We Are Alive". USA Today says, " Meklit delivers a sound all her own... (We Are Alive) gets even better with every listen ",
The Village Voice comments : "She's a blithe-voiced daughter of Joni who considers music a path to higher ground, with rest stops for the likes of Talking Heads and Lou Reed."
01. Meklit Hadero - Walk Up (5:34)
02. Meklit Hadero - Float And Fall (3:29)
03. Meklit Hadero - Leaving Soon (4:12)
04. Meklit Hadero - You And The Rain (4:30)
05. Meklit Hadero - Feeling Good (4:29)
06. Meklit Hadero - Abbay Mado (5:05)
07. Meklit Hadero - Soleil Soleil (2:33)
08. Meklit Hadero - Call (3:59)
09. Meklit Hadero - Walls (3:40)
10. Meklit Hadero - Under (4:27)
Thursday, October 27, 2016
The Kafa Beanz is a collective of solo artists who blend their Ethiopian culture and music with hip hop, soul, and alternative musical textures. The name “Kafa Beanz” is a play on words. If one looks at a map of Ethiopia, there is the Kafa region where coffee is known to originate. Coffee was “discovered” by the Portuguese in Ethiopia in the middle ages. Coffee is the primary export of Ethiopia to this day and considered the country’s most valuable export. This group of young artists, primarily of Ethiopian origin, wanted to express that the true value of Ethiopia is in the people, thus the name Kafa Beanz.
The Kafa Beanz formed in 2007 when a group of accomplished Ethiopian-American musicians, producers and vocalist who have been longtime fans of each other’s respective work decided to join forces. Their first project as a collective is entitled “Andromeda: The Chronicles of Blackopia Vol. 1.” The project’s title pays homage to Princess Andromeda who, according to Greek Mythology, was the daughter of Cassiopeia and Cepheus, the king of Ethiopia.
Gabriel Teodros - "Tizita"
The Kafa Beanz consists of lead vocalists B Sheba(rapper /singer) and Burntface (rapper/producer) and is rounded out by Wayna (singer/songwriter), Gabriel Teodros (rapper), AP (rapper/singer) and various Special Guest Appearances including Hermela Mulatu (singer), daughter of Ethiopian Jazz Musician Mulatu Astatke.
The Kafa Beanz is a group of solo artists who share a passion for Africa and a desire to expose their music to the world. Four of the five members are of Ethiopian origin, and the exotic sounds of East Africa are evident in their music.
Despite having a sonic texture heavily influenced by 60s and 70s era Ethiopian Jazz music, The Kafa Beanz have a universal sound that has often been compared to The Fugees, Black Eyed Peas and Outkast. The Kafa Beanz effortlessly blends soulful vocal harmonies and poignant lyrics over an eclectic mixture of classic hip hop and futuristic world music.
Each member is an accomplished artist in their own right with their own respective fan bases. Their collective professional experience and talents make for a powerful and versatile combination that can rock a party crowd or tantalize a jazzy lounge or café. In a time when the traditional music industry paradigm is crashing in on itself, and genres are being disregarded, The Kafa Beanz are poised to be the future of world music.
The Kafa Beanz - 01 - Andromeda (1:45)
Wayna, Burntface - 02 - Let It Go (5:04)
Burntface, AP, B Sheba, Wayna - 03 - IRock (2:53)
Burntface, B Sheba, AP - 04 - AA++ (2:28)
B Sheba, Burntface, AP - 05 - Arada (4:15)
AP, Wayna - 06 - Rebel (2:58)
B Sheba - 07 - Babylon Blues (4:35)
Burntface, B Sheba - 08 - History (3:05)
Wayna, Burntface - 09 - Love's Fool (3:24)
B Sheba, Hermela Mulatu, Burntface, Gabriel Teodros - 10 - Hope (4:43)
Burntface - 11 - Fly Away (3:45)
Burntface, B Sheba, Malik (30), Texx - 12 - Diaspora (3:41)
Gabriel Teodros, B Sheba - 13 - Tizita (4:07)
Wayna - 14 - Final Transmition (3:44)
Monday, October 17, 2016
BLACK JESUS EXPERIENCE (BJX) is an eight piece band playing an irresistibly danceable blend of traditional Ethiopian song and 21st Century groove. With backgrounds as diverse as the 5 countries the members of BJX hail from, their music reflects the multicultural vibrancy of the band’s hometown, Melbourne, Australia.
Singer Enushu Taye began entertaining her local community as a child in Addis Ababa. Forced to leave Ethiopia, Enushu migrated to Australia bringing hauntingly beautiful compositions inspired by her remarkable life story and the unique vocal traditions of Ethiopia. Enushu is joined on vocals by poetic giant and lyrical miracle Mr Monk, Zimbabwe born and Outback bred.
Black Jesus Experience - ETHIOBOP
When not touring BJX run a weekly session at cultural hub The Horn creating new songs live on stage featuring guest artists from all walks of life. The comfort BJX has with this practice lies in the improvising traditions of that feed BJX including Hip Hop, Jazz, Azmari and Funk.
They have recently released their 5th studio album, a collaboration with their long time mentor, the inventor of Ethio-Jazz: Mulatu Astatke. The album Cradle of Humanity was recorded and mixed across 3 continents and completed at the end of their East Africa tour in 2015, including performances at MTN Bushfire Festival (Swaziland), AZGO Festival (Mozambique) and African Union Expo (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia).
The rhymes and chimes of Black Jesus Experience deliver the power and beauty of Africa through the vocal prism of Hip-Hop and freedom of Funk.
Black Jesus Experience - 01 - Smile (3:31)
Black Jesus Experience - 02 - Africa (4:43)
Black Jesus Experience - 03 - Bati (3:52)
Black Jesus Experience - 04 - Migration (6:12)
Black Jesus Experience - 05 - Ethio Bop (5:23)
Black Jesus Experience - 06 - Ichilalo (4:25)
Black Jesus Experience - 07 - Mother Earth (4:35)
Black Jesus Experience - 08 - Gimash Akarley (3:19)
Black Jesus Experience - 09 - After (4:47)
Black Jesus Experience - 10 - BB (5:09)