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Showing posts with label ethiopian diaspora. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ethiopian diaspora. Show all posts

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Tommy T - The Prester John Sessions [2009] [usa+eth]






   R   E   U   P   L   O   A   D   






       For the past three years, Tommy T (Thomas T Gobena) has been the bass player for gypsy punk powerhouse Gogol Bordello, the New York City-based band known for their blend of Gypsy, punk, dub reggae, metal and flamenco. 









       Tommy was born and raised in Ethiopia and the knowledge of global rhythms he brings to Gogol’s sound has become part of their unclassifiable approach to music making. With the encouragement of his Gogol Bordello band mates, Tommy has produced his first solo effort, The Prester John Sessions, an aural travelogue that rages freely through the music and culture of Ethiopia.

      "In the 70s, funk, wah-wah pedals, and jazz had a huge impact on Ethiopian music," Tommy explains. "The Prester John Sessions will give people an idea about the musical diversity of Ethiopia, which includes influences and ideas borrowed from the sounds of the 70's with the added bonus of up-to-date production values."









       Tommy discovered the story of Prester John in Graham Hancock’s book The Sign and the Seal. “Hancock was looking for the Biblical Ark of the Covenant,” Tommy says. “His quest led him around the world, from Middle East to Europe and back to Ethiopia. While doing his research, Hancock discovered the legend of Prester John. In the 12th and 13th centuries, Prester John was an unknown Christian king with massive troops that got the attention of European kings. Prester John is the character I use to symbolize the man who will bring Ethiopian culture to the rest of the world.”

       To fulfill his vision, Tommy started digging through Ethiopian folk music, choosing melodies he could improvise on. He also wrote his own compositions based on traditional modes. “A lot of popular Ethiopian music is based on a 6/8 beat called chikchika, but there are also many other rhythms in Ethiopia that have their own unique characteristics. I play with The Abyssinian Roots Collective on the album. They are sometimes known as The ARC, which coincidentally ties into the Ark of the Covenant and the Prester John story. We’re mostly Ethiopian, so getting the music down was easy. I gave them the tunes, and then we improvised the arrangements so the music has an organic feel.”











       Tommy composed and produced the music, with his brother Henock contributing to the tunes “Brothers” and “East-West Express.” The tracks were written at Tommy’s home studio and cut live in a couple of studios around Washington, DC and overdubs were laid down in real time with a final mix by Victor Van Vugt (Nick Cave, Gogol Bordello) that gave it the feel of Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters jamming with Ethiopian godfathers The Imperial Bodyguard Orchestra. The music blends Ethiopian modes with dub reggae, funk, and jazz, for a sound that’s at once familiar and mysterious.

      “The Eighth Wonder” has a light, jazzy feel based on the chikchika rhythm, played in the style common to the Wollo province, home to the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela. “Much like the pyramids of Giza, much has been made over the 11 stone churches of Lalibela, often referred to as the “Eighth Wonder,” Tommy explains. “This track uses the chikchika beat, but expands it into other directions.” Tommy’s melodic bass weaves through the tune’s horn and Massinqo (an Ethiopian single-stringed instrument played like a violin) lines, while the drummer keeps the beat with a series of tom rolls complimenting the kick drum. Dub effects keep the instruments dancing in and out of the mix. “Beyond Fasiladas” references the Castle of the emperor Fasiladas in Gondar, Ethiopia’s capital in the 17th Century. It uses a fast, driving beat from Gondar and interpolates several traditional melodies. Massinqo, guitar and an energetic bass line give the tune a funky, relentless pulse. Setegne Setenaw plays the melody on Massinqo. “The Response” features vocals from Gigi and Tommy. It’s a love song with an almost unbearable sense of longing. Tommy plays acoustic guitar and bouzouki with a West African feel influenced by the music of Mali, although the melody is purely Ethiopian. “Eden” pays homage to the lush and raw landscapes of Ethiopia. Gigi’s wordless vocal is full of joy. The slow dubby rhythm and a muted blue flugelhorn give the track a timeless feel. “Oromo Dub (Cushitic dub)” is driven by Tommy’s phat bass riddim and revolves around traditional tunes that existed ages ago. Abdi Nuressa sings in Oromo, one of the many languages in Ethiopia, and his voice drifts through intergalactic dub space taking this ancient song into the future. The album’s ten tracks epitomize the Ethiopian ideal of Semena Worq - Wax and Gold. The wax is the surface of the music, bright and modern, with its jazzy, funky accents. The gold signifies the depth of tradition that gave birth to these sounds, nuggets culled from one of the oldest cultures on earth, presented by Tommy and his compatriots in all their shining beauty.

       Tommy T was born and raised in Ethiopia’s capital city, Addis Ababa. “There was always music in our house,” Tommy recalls. “When I was five, my older brother Zelalem got an acoustic guitar from my father. By the time I was six I could pick up a guitar and play what my brothers were playing.

       Tommy had no intention of becoming a musician, but when his brother Henock moved to Washington DC, Tommy followed. “I looked up to him as a brother and a bass player. After he sent a copy of his first album to us in Ethiopia, I started playing acoustic guitar like a bass. When I came to the States, I got a real bass. There are over 200,000 Ethiopians in the DC metro area, so I was able to make a living playing in Ethiopian bands.”

       Tommy completed a degree while playing in bands three or four nights a week. “I played in Ethiopian bands, and then started a reggae band called ADOLA which also backed many well known Ethiopian artists such as Aster Aweke and Gigi to name a few. I was also interested in other styles of music including R&B, hip-hop, and neo-soul. I worked with Wayna [Wondwossen, recently nominated for a best urban performance Grammy for her song “Lovin’ U (Music)”] and produced a couple of tracks on her Moments of Clarity album with my friend Abegasu Shiota.” While collaborating on a project with guitarist Eran Tabib, he heard Gogol Bordello was looking for a bass player familiar with international grooves.

    His years with Gogol inspired Tommy to develop The Prester John Sessions, another band with a global outlook. The reggae band he and his friend Zedicus (Zakki Jawad) started in DC had evolved into The Abyssinian Roots Collective; they helped Tommy bring The Prester John Sessions to life. “I believe in music without boundaries,” Tommy says. “Music should be inclusive, not exclusive. We should use sounds from everywhere to create a universal vibe. The music business isn’t friendly to that kind of thing, but the people who hear it respond to it well. Gogol is a rock band, but the sound is global. People who love music know the best music is created without boundaries and limitations. The Prester John Sessions take that idea to the next level.”




01. Tommy T - Brothers (5:03)
02. Tommy T - The Call (4:04)
03. Tommy T - The Response (Featuring Gigi) (4:43)
04. Tommy T - The Eighth Wonder (6:51)
05. Tommy T - Oromo Dub (Cushitic Dub) (4:34)
06. Tommy T - East-West Express (4:21)
07. Tommy T - Tribute To A King (4:11)
08. Tommy T - Beyond Fasiladas (3:16)
09. Tommy T - September Blues (3:29)
10. Tommy T - Eden (Featuring Gigi) (5:53)
11. Tommy T - Lifers (Michael G Easy Star Remix feat. 
                          Eugene Hutz And Pedro Erazo) (2:06)



Thursday, April 13, 2017

Theodros Mitiku - Fiker Ayaregim [Instrumental] [2016] [ethiopia]















Theodros Mitiku - Awash






Theodros Mitiku - 01 - Enigenagnalen (6:33)
Theodros Mitiku - 02 - Balegariw (6:06)
Theodros Mitiku - 03 - Fiker Ayaregim (3:08)
Theodros Mitiku - 04 - Ene Weshetennew (7:36)
Theodros Mitiku - 05 - Ketesmamash (6:34)
Theodros Mitiku - 06 - Man Ende Enat (8:12)
Theodros Mitiku - 07 - Yeabay Wuha (6:49)
Theodros Mitiku - 08 - Eshiruru (6:07)
Theodros Mitiku - 09 - Tegegnetual (2:10)
Theodros Mitiku - 10 - Mushiraye (6:58)
Theodros Mitiku - 11 - Teshebere Hode (6:29)
Theodros Mitiku - 12 - Mewdeden Wodedcut (5:36)






Thursday, March 16, 2017

Gigi & Bill Laswell's Material - New Flowers From Addis [live @ Krems 2009] [ethiopia]







   R   E   U   P   L   O   A   D   












four tracks from their gig at Krems, 2009. 











Gigi and Alemayehu Fanta - Zerafewa

                                                        




Saturday, March 4, 2017

Baaro - Rhythm City [1997] [ethiopia]










          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 [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)




Monday, February 20, 2017

Ada Kassaye - Yamral [2009] [ethiopia]











         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 - 01 - Agebagn (5:15)
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 - The Lalibelas with Harry James Angus [2015] [aus+eth]












       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

Chachi Tadesse - I am An African [2007] [ethiopia]











       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 - Various Singles [2014] [ethiopia]











       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

Meklit Hadero - On a day like this.. [2010] [usa-ethiopia]




   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)