Blogtrotters

Showing posts with label ethiopian popular music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ethiopian popular music. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Aster Aweke & Wubeshet Fiseha - Aster & Wubeshet [ethiopia]













Aster Aweke & Wubeshet Fiseha - full album





Aster Aweke & Wubeshet Fiseha - 01 - Yene web-eyenama (6:32)
Aster Aweke & Wubeshet Fiseha - 02 - Gelel bey (6:30)
Aster Aweke & Wubeshet Fiseha - 03 - Gofere hugnelegn (6:47)
Aster Aweke & Wubeshet Fiseha - 04 - Gedamay (6:20)
Aster Aweke & Wubeshet Fiseha - 05 - Fekre yenw neh (3:45)
Aster Aweke & Wubeshet Fiseha - 06 - Gum gum (7:03)
Aster Aweke & Wubeshet Fiseha - 07 - Eyew demamu (7:36)
Aster Aweke & Wubeshet Fiseha - 08 - Mela mela (6:38)
Aster Aweke & Wubeshet Fiseha - 09 - Meche new (4:00)
Aster Aweke & Wubeshet Fiseha - 10 - Anchiye (4:00)







Thursday, March 16, 2017

Bezuayehu Demissie - Best of Oldies [2007] [ethiopia]





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Bezuayehu Demissie - Enbua Zebider





       Bezuayehu Demissie has demonstrated a rather amazing voice, though his relative success was over shadowed by accusations that the album which contains the remake of Muluken Melesse was made without the authorization of the original singer. This led to a rather bizarre fight that some speculated was heading to court. 

         A VOA report from 2007 says Muluken has already sued the singer and producers. There is no accessible information on if or how the case was settled. Nevertheless, the remake of the songs doesn't disappoint and may even help the new generation to be introduced to the old classic songs of Ethiopia.






01. Bezuayehu Demissie - Enbua Zebider (6:26)
02. Bezuayehu Demissie - Set Balew Geter (4:59)
03. Bezuayehu Demissie - Negerighne (5:50)
04. Bezuayehu Demissie - Yene Konjo (5:49)
05. Bezuayehu Demissie - Tizita (5:59)
06. Bezuayehu Demissie - Yebrhan Kokeb (5:42)
07. Bezuayehu Demissie - Misker Eyaye (9:20)
08. Bezuayehu Demissie - Yene Alem (4:13)
09. Bezuayehu Demissie - Tizez Begelaye (6:18)
10. Bezuayehu Demissie - Berget Ageghnesh Wey (7:03)
11. Bezuayehu Demissie - Che Belew (3:53)
12. Bezuayehu Demissie - Endet Lechalew (5:42)
13. Bezuayehu Demissie - Negerighne Menew (5:48)




Thursday, March 9, 2017

Getachew Kassa - Getachew Kassa with The Walias Band [ethiopia]















Getachew Kasaa - Hageren Atinkuat




Getachew Kassa and his Tezetas
by Arefayné Fantahun




       I finally caught Getachew Kassa for an interview. Other than listening to his greatest hits on radio and watching him on television, I was able to see him once or twice in person playing at the Jazzamba Lounge in Piazza few years ago, yet when I tried to contact him for an interview, I found out it was not an easy to thing to do. He was elusive. First he wanted to know which media I worked for; radio, or TV. I explained it was a website. He then asked me to call him after two or three weeks. When I did, he would find an excuse to say No this time around. He would say ‘he has a cold, you know the pollution in Addis?’ Finally, with the help of music producer Amaha Eshete, I was able to interview Getachew.

       Despite a wall of formality he builds around himself, there’s a warmth and playfulness that seeps out of him. He recounted his recollections and stories, with deep, low-pitched voice, and punctuated with infectious laugh.






Getachew Kassa photo by Mario Di Bari (februar 2013)





      Getachew, 67, occupies a unique space in the Ethiopian music sphere, his singular voice and stage act straddling generations. Since he started playing one of his hits “Emegnalehu” with a band called Fetan Band – or Speed Band – at the Patrice Lumumba Bar in Wube Berha in the 70’s, Getachew established himself as one of the most accomplished Ethiopian musicians of the period. His career as recording artist includes tunes such as “Addis Ababa”, “Tiz Balegn Gize”, “Yekereme Fikir”, “Bertucan nesh lomi” “Bichayan Tekze” “Agere Tizitash”. The “Tezeta slow & fast” that he created and popularized when he was playing for various groups, the Sehebelles band, the Venus band, and later with the Walias band, was subsequently recorded by Amha Records. Those records were reissued by the French producer Francis Falceto in the Éthiopiques 1 (Golden Years of Modern Music), collections that he put together to recapture the lost music of pre-Revolutionary Ethiopia. “This Tezeta remains one of the best-selling records ever in Ethiopia, totalling around 5,000 copies, while most hits level-off at 2-3,000 and a few hundred is considered a moderate success. Very people owned record players, but the entire country heard that Tezeta, the first, jangling by an Ethiopia set in motion,” Falceto wrote in the cover. The CD reissue brought wider recognition at home and abroad, generating attention and praise even from Bob Dylan who included it in his anthology CD of favorites for Starbucks coffee chain in 2008, in a series called Artist’s Choice. In the selections of “music that matters to him” Dylan talked about the song “Tezeta” from the compilation album in the Ethiopiques series. Dylan writes, “When I first heard this record I knew nothing about it. There’s this guy named Harold who usually shows up when I play Forth Worth, and he always gives me a bag of CDs. He never writes down what’s on them. I had to wait till the next time I was in Fort Worth to ask him what this track was. I found out it’s an Ethiopian record from this series of records made during that short window of time when popular music was allowed in Ethiopia. But when I heard it I didn’t know any of that. I thought it was some kind of Cajun record played backwards. There’s something great about hearing music that’s so obviously passionate and so obviously good, and not being able to understand the words. I like to imagine this is what my records might sound like to someone in a country that doesn’t speak English.”

        Getachew says it was a great honour to receive an admiration from this word-class musician. He was not even aware of his inclusion in the CD until a friend told him about it and gave him as present. “This friend of mine Mike Alazar, who used to sing in English at Wabi Shebele hotel one day happened to hear my music while he was at Starbucks. He asked the personnel at the chain and came to know that it was compiled with other English songs. He hurriedly bought it and brought it to me. I treasure it a lot” Getachew says.

       Born and raised in Addis Ababa’s Mercato area from a relatively well-off family, Getachew found his love and dedication for music in his early years. “As early as eight, music was something that just grabbed me. I sang an Italian song called Asmarina, asmarina, which was popular then. My parents were separated and I lived with my father. I used to frequent this café in my neighbourhood called California where I used to listen to records of Little Richards, Elvis Presley, Harry Belafonte, among others. I started imitating those singers,” he says.


     He also started to play drums with a certain Yemen national, Mockbile, who bought a drum and asked him to try it. He played it good. But those years were difficult for him because he never received a blessing on his passion from his father. There were fights at home every single day because of it. “My father even hid the record player that was in our house,” he recalls.

       The precariousness of Getachew’s life made it difficult for him to concentrate in school.”I messed up all the time,” he said.Eventually, in his teenage years, he run away to Dire Dawa, hoping to get a job doing music. One night he happened to pass by a bar where there was this person playing accordion solo. “There was drum machine on the corner and no one was playing it. I went to him and I proposed playing the drum and he was okay. I became a good drummer there,” Getachew says. “I met this guy, Solomon, who was in the police army, who was playing saxophone. We went to Harar and I joined Segon Orchestra. With the permission of army officials, he bought equipment and we started playing for different occasions. After a year, I came back to Addis because they wanted to put me in the army,”






Getachew Kassa - Adesewa 





          While in Harar, he took Kassa as his father’s name than the real one Tsegaye, because his father said he did not want him to carry on his name. “At the time I was in love with this girl Assgedetch Kassa, who was a singer herself. I told her about it and she said why I don’t take her father’s name. I became Getachew Kassa to this day,” he laughs.

         In Addis Ababa, Getachew started playing with a band called Fetan Band, at the Patrice Lumumba Bar, which was owned by Woizero Asegedech Alamrew. That was the most important regular gig for him, playing along with Teshome Mitiku, Mekonen Mersha. “Emegnalehu” became very popular and brought him to prominence. “It put me in a whole different place. It was the start of me making a living as a singer.” Tilahun Gessesse used to show up often and do the twist for the music, he says. Getachew was then paid five birr per day. For the following year, he played at Sombrero in Senga Tera, a club where Alemayehu Eshete used to play. He was offered 15 birr by the patron the Seyoum and another of his hits, Sayish Esasalehu was born there. Upon his discharge from the club, he briefly joined Axum Adarash in Gulele as vocalist where he joined Tekle “Huket” Adhnaom, a guitarist from Asmara, Hailu Zihon, who played base, former member of the Police Force. Then Abubakar Ashakih, a composer and former singer for the Imperial Music Department, and owner of Venus nightclub beckoned them to play at his club which was first located in Piazza, and later in Ambassador Cinema. The band’s reputation spread rapidly, also getting regular invitation to perform at high school graduation parties. Getachew’s slow and fast Tezeta became more popular here. After six months again another offer from Wabishebele Hotel, they became the Wabishebele Band in 1969. It was then that Getachew met Amaha Eshete and the two tunes were recorded in in LP.

       As Francis Falceto describes it, ”the double version of Tezeta, thanks to its success and the polemic it fuelled incensed conservatives and pop’s young guard, stand as symbol of pre-revolutionary Ethiopia- in the light music vein. Getachew Kassa delivers a version totally contrary to tradition, but so well adapted by non-conformist Ethiopian youth in 1972.”


        Around that time, Getachew joined the famed Walias ensemble, that eventually landed a residency at the Hilton hotel, performing for tourists, diplomats and middle class locals. After soundtracking Addis Ababa’s night life for more than a decade, in 1981 Getachew Kassa and the Walais band went to the US, in their first American exposure at a time Ethiopian’s military regime was strongly condemning American imperialism. The group’s first performance was at Washington DC’s famous Warner Theatre.

       Getachew decided to stay in Washington DC, where the band had originally landed upon their arrival–and there he remained. His stay in the United States, he admits, wasn’t a fertile working environment. He said he was “well received at the start by the Ethiopian community there and quickly making fans across US cities who showered me with gifts”. However, as years went by, he found it difficult to work with the band there, “The trouble with most musicians there is that they don’t rehearse enough. Since they are busy with other things, making money, they want to show up and join me to perform. I myself don’t come to the stage without practising my own materials. I make it a point to pay attention to the smallest details. I don’t find that with many of them. I couldn’t even find anybody to play with,” he says. All the same, he worked in the Ethiopian restaurants found in different states, including Blue Nile, Addis Ababa restaurant, Dukem, Etete, Queen Sheba. “I used to perform three times per week. I liked being on stage. When I put on my hands on the piano, I forgot all other things.”

        Getachew, who lived in the United States for twenty seven years, is now back in Ethiopia, trying to rekindle his music career. “I felt a pool from home. Ethiopia is a deep part of my life. The time came that I had to come back,” he says. His songs are often about loss, solitude, and for a lot of his life he has been a loner. “I got married once and my marriage did not work out,” he says. He has a daughter from this marriage, who is currently living in Saudi Arabia that he has not seen or spoken for many years. In many ways he has been consumed by his songs, by touring. Probably, this drive has been the reason for the break-up of his marriage.

         After his return to Ethiopia four years ago, he started performing at Jazzamba with a band comprising young musicians, Vibes Band. However, his old demons have not been entirely exorcized. One member of the band then described the frustrations of dealing with the singer’s mood swings, though he respected his singing so much.


       After fire destroyed the Jazzamba club, Getachew shifted playing to Mama’s Kitchen, a bar on the shopping mall near Bole airport with Express band. It worked for a while but these days he is not playing there anymore.

        On April 3, 2016 Getachew went to Berlin to perform at concert (his first in Germany), as part of the “Stay Strong” project, a music project dedicated to the renowned Ethiopian singer and songwriter Alemayehu Eshete & to musicians of his generation.

        In a two-week workshop, Getachew’s big hits were re-interpreted, arranged in a contemporary manner and recorded in studio quality. Band Manager and Booking Agent at The Stay Strong Orchestra, Clemens Grün told Ethiopia Observer that they did one recording workshop with Alemyahu Eshete and another with Getachew Kassa and Selam Seyoum Woldemariam. “The recordings, we did, especially with Getachew, are not comparable with anything he or anybody else ever did with his songs,” he says. They did eight songs with Getachew, one is linked here.

      The project’s trailer, which was described as “a kind of Ethiopian Buena Vista Social Club” could be seen on You Tube. Getachew presented his first performance UFA-Fabrik, factory to wide acclaim.


       It was a proof that that his music and energy is as alive as ever and he is a determined as he was in his youthful prime. Getachew is planning to celebrate a 50 year career in music next year. However, he said no plans to retire in the near future, adding instead that he planned to downsize his career, cancelling all club engagements.

(Special thanks to John Wilson for sending me Bob Dylan’s notes on Getachew, which i quoted in its entirety in the article.)




Getachew Kassa - 01 - Yekereme Fikir (5:02)
Getachew Kassa - 02 - Adesewa (5:34)
Getachew Kassa - 03 - Nafkote (6:54)
Getachew Kassa - 04 - Yidresesh Selamta (4:12)
Getachew Kassa - 05 - Birtukan Wey Lomi (5:28)
Getachew Kassa - 06 - Albeqagnim Gena (10:05)
Getachew Kassa - 07 - Altegenagnenem (4:52)
Getachew Kassa - 08 - Hageren Atinkuat (5:44)
Getachew Kassa - 09 - Yamushal (5:14)
Getachew Kassa - 10 - Yenenesh Yeleala (4:07)
Getachew Kassa - 11 - Eyuat Sitnafeqegn (Instrumental) (2:56)



Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Woubeshet Feseha - [1976] - [ethiopia]





many thanks for this post goes to my ethiopian friend
     Yednak Fikru       
who digitalize this album and saves it from slow decaying on the tape










           Woubeshet Feseha (or Wubshet Fiseha) found his great passion for singing in his youth age in school and at his living areas. His friends listening to his great talent used to encourage him to carry on with his potential. Kibur Zebegna band and Yepolis orchestra was Woubeshete’s childhood music icon, he has always looked up with hope to join the band someday, his dreams eventually came true to join the band which hosts many famous singers in town.

            Woubeshet Feseha is great singer which sang his works in stage from the 1960’s to 1970’s Ethiopian Calendar. Woubeshet has worked from his first band Kibur Zebegna to different bands all around Addis playing in different night clubs and hotels. To name the few, in Hilton hotel with Walias band, in Shebele Hotel with Ethio Star band, Shebelle band, and other famous bands.












Wubeshet Fisseha - Lakiligne Shikina





       Besides his singing career, he also was a great guitar player. This talent have made him contribute to accompany the famous artist Aster Aweke in her concerts and recordings which were produced by prominent local producers. Woubshet Feseha has produced different melody and lyric compositions, and has released more than six music albums.


       Woubshet Feseha was the lead singer in the famous band Walias  band and Ethio-Star band in the 1960’s and 1970’s E.C. 


       Out of the many famous albums releases, Wubushets albums such as “Maleda Maleda”, and his last release “Aseb Shegaw Wende Late” were a hit album.




       He went on a tour with Walias Band to U.S.A., in this tour Woubshet gained a wide fame from Ethiopian diasporas who went to U.S. in the Derg regime, performing traditional music to the Ethiopian audience in U.S. After leaving Ethiopia to tour in the U.S. with Walias band, he has made his living in the United States, coming to his mother land Ethiopia for an occasional visit for recordings, worked in the U.S. as a singer for some time.


      Woubshet Feseha have made more than 100 amharic songs which are listened from generation to generations, Woubshet passed away but his works still follow his great legacy being listened to the audience till present.





01 - Woubeshet Feseha - 01 (5:55)
02 - Woubeshet Feseha - 02 (4:51)
03 - Woubeshet Feseha - 03 (6:20)
04 - Woubeshet Feseha - 04 (5:09)
05 - Woubeshet Feseha - 05 (7:21)
06 - Woubeshet Feseha - 06 (6:08)
07 - Woubeshet Feseha - 07 (5:43)
08 - Woubeshet Feseha - 08 (6:53)
09 - Woubeshet Feseha - 09 (6:40)
10 - Woubeshet Feseha - 10 (6:14)





unfortunately, besides this poor quality image of cassette and 1976. (not ethiopian calendar) as a date od release,
I have no other data for this album, not even cover art. 

any help is welcome!!!



Mohammed Awel Saleh - Hager Allen [ethiopia]


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       A nasheed (Arabic: singular نشيد nashīd, plural أناشيد anāshīd, also nashwad (pl.), meaning: "chants"; also nasyid in Malaysia and Indonesia) is a work of vocal music that is either sung acappella or accompanied by percussion instruments such as the daf. 













     In general, Islamic anasheed do not contain lamellaphone instruments, string instruments, or wind and brass instruments, although digital remastering – either to mimic percussion instruments or create overtones – is permitted. This is because many Muslim scholars state that Islam prohibits the use of musical instruments except for some basic percussion.

          Anasheed are popular throughout the Islamic world. The material and lyrics of a nasheed usually make reference to Islamic beliefs, history, and religion, as well as current events.





01. Mohammed Awel Saleh - Hager Allen (6:10)
02. Mohammed Awel Saleh - Yalew Geleli (6:14)
03. Mohammed Awel Saleh - Yehun Dehna (5:33)
04. Mohammed Awel Saleh - Borena (6:39)
05. Mohammed Awel Saleh - Bale Ensosilaw (6:05)
06. Mohammed Awel Saleh - Hager Wub (5:41)
07. Mohammed Awel Saleh - Niboyie (6:14)
08. Mohammed Awel Saleh - Ney Digay (5:12)
09. Mohammed Awel Saleh - Welebayie (6:56)
10. Mohammed Awel Saleh - Zomayie (5:01)





Betsat Seyoum - Basresagn [2005] [ethiopia]





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            Bitsat Seyoum was born in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia. She attended ‘Felege Yordanos Elementary School’ (staring at the age of 4) and ‘Shemeles Habte Secondary School’. She always loved singing and was encouraged by many friends to perform. One thing led to another and Bitsat found herself beginning her singing career in an ‘Azmari Bet’ (a traditional venue where musicians {azmaris} alongside dancers and instrumentalists, perform traditional Ethiopian music). Her music was discovered by many and soon, she was touring internationally.






Bitseat Seyoum - Basresagna





       Working with all the big names of that musical era, Bitsat began recording her songs. Mulatu Astatke (who is often referred to as the father of EthioJazz) arranged the music for her first cassette recording. With masters of the Amharic poetic form ‘Wax and Gold’ (traditional poetry characterised by double meaning) and musicians and composers like Tilahun Gessesse, Gultu Tefera, Teddy Afro, Moges Teka, Mulugeta Tesfaye, Yelema Gebreabe and plenty more, she performed and recorded her work. She opened up her own successful night club in Addis Abeba named BITSAT and became famous for her witty and skilful improvisations of the ‘Wax and Gold’ poetry.

       Bitsat now lives in Melbourne with her husband, Tesfaye Temamo (a writer, director and actor) and children.






01. Betsat Seyoum - Basresagn (6:16)
02. Betsat Seyoum - Yichalal (4:26)
03. Betsat Seyoum - Enesebaseb (7:24)
04. Betsat Seyoum - Senafekeh (5:45)
05. Betsat Seyoum - Sewuyew (6:33)
06. Betsat Seyoum - Feker Awkalehu (4:48)
07. Betsat Seyoum - Alsemen Geba Belew (6:07)
08. Betsat Seyoum - Tebebegnaw (5:02)
09. Betsat Seyoum - Getenetu (6:08)
10. Betsat Seyoum - Bawetagn (4:37)




Saturday, February 25, 2017

Seble Solomon - Kalehubet [2001] [ethiopia]












Seble Solomon




Seble Solomon - 01 - Yelijenete (5:36)
Seble Solomon - 02 - Kalehubet (6:03)
Seble Solomon - 03 - Mok Yelegnal (6:06)
Seble Solomon - 04 - Bet Yiquterew (8:11)
Seble Solomon - 05 - Yebekagnal (5:29)
Seble Solomon - 06 - Negabita / Dewako (8:17)
Seble Solomon - 07 - Akorah wey (5:26)
Seble Solomon - 08 - Min Derese Antega (5:26)
Seble Solomon - 09 - Selam (4:17)
Seble Solomon - 10 - Iskemeche (5:14)
Seble Solomon - 11 - Tematsigne (4:43)
Seble Solomon - 12 - Ke Shegawoch Ager (6:23)


Tsedenia Gebremarkos - Bisetegn [1996] [ethiopia]





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                                                            Tsedenia Gebremarkos




           Tsedenia Gebremarkos is an Ethiopian artist. She has released songs about HIV/AIDS. She shared the prize for best East African female at the Kora Awards in 2004 for the song "Ewedhalehu", with Achien'g Abura (Kenya) for her song "Toto Wangu.

         Tsedenia has recently worked with the Ethiopian dub band Dub Colossus. They released an EP, 'A Town Called Addis' in June 2008 through Real World Records and a full length LP album of the same name was released in August 2008 exclusively through the Bowers & Wilkins Music Club.

         She also sang two songs on the album Punt (Made in Ethiopia) by Invisible System released on Harper Diabate Records and produced by Dub Colossus cousin Dan Harper.












01. Tsedenia - Eketelehalehu (4:03)
02. Tsedenia - Bisetegn (5:30)
03. Tsedenia - Neh Yeliginete (5:49)
04. Tsedenia - Atalay (6:26)
05. Tsedenia - Yiker Beyalehu (5:23)
06. Tsedenia - Mengedegna (5:18)
07. Tsedenia - Endanetezazeb (4:12)
08. Tsedenia - Ewedehalehu (5:44)
09. Tsedenia - Mirchye (4:52)
10. Tsedenia - Ewnatun Negeregn (5:29)
11. Tsedenia - Aleskorememem (6:04)











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)