Kirubel Assefa Kebede is an Ethiopian musician who has been residing in the US and performing and perfecting his craft for over 20 years. From the early days of his childhood in Ethiopia, it was apparent that Kirubel had a keen awareness of music and rhythm. Long before his formal education at St. Joseph in Addis Abeba began, Kirubel enjoyed using eating and cooking utensils as drum sticks to create sound, showing an affinity for and love of music early on. His first formal musical training was on a school drum set during his elementary years, and he eventually performed regularly with the St Joseph School Band. Over time, his musical fluidity has expanded beyond drums to include the rhythm of the bass and the bubbling sound of the keyboards.
After immigrating to the United States, Kirubel continued his training and musical education at the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles, CA and began to hone his skills in arranging and composing music for film and movies. With extensive exposure to the dynamic cultural & musical melting pot of Los Angeles, Kirubel played with bands across numerous musical genres, including Afro-Cuban, Reggae, and Funk bands.
He acted in the semi-autobiographical independent film entitled “Journey to Lasta” (2004) directed by Wondwossen Dikran in which he portrayed an Ethiopian musician struggling to survive in Los Angeles. He composed most of the songs for the movie which also featured his band “Lasta Sound”. Kirubel also served as sound designer for a number of commercial products and composed the music for the IMAX documentary entitled “Mystery of the Nile” (2005).
As musical director, arranger, and performer, he has worked with the biggest names in Ethiopian music such as, Mahmoud Ahmed, Gigi, Aster Aweke, Tewodros Tadesse and the late Dr. Telahun Gessesse.
Kirubel tours regularly with many internationally known artists.
KIRUBEL AND THE DIMTSEPIA PROJECT - LIVE cover N ARC
Dimtsepia, is the title of Kirubels first solo project. Dimtsepia, as a body of work, is a celebration of Ethiopian culture. The word is a contraction of dimtse (the Amharic word for sound) and Ethiopia. On the recording, Kirubel plays bass, keyboards, guitar (1 song) as well as arranging the horn parts. With strong roots in jazz as a discipline, Kirubel weaves the traditional melodies of his homeland around complex rhythms creating a brand of world fusion for the 21st century.
While the music was written and composed by Kirubel, lyrics on several songs were written by respected lyricist and musician Yonas Mulatu. The first single will be “Ye Ethiopia Lij” meaning “Child of Ethiopia” sung by Fitsum Mahedere. Tsedenia Gebremarkos, known for her works on Real World Records with the band Dub Collusus sings on two tracks: “Kokobe” and “Tesmamye”.
Tsegaye B/ Selassie who is the front man from Lasta sound sung "Maraki". This release will also introduce an up and coming singer, Teklish, who is destined to become the voice of a new generation. The horn section on the recording includes Kumasi Washington on Saxophone, Ryan Porter on trombone and Chris Gray on Trumpet.
Kirubel Assefa - 01 - Tesmameye (4:26)
Kirubel Assefa - 02 - Ye Meskel Wef (5:03)
Kirubel Assefa - 03 - Ye Ethiopia Lij (4:32)
Kirubel Assefa - 04 - Dimtsepia (4:05)
Kirubel Assefa - 05 - Addis Lij (4:52)
Kirubel Assefa - 06 - Kokebe (5:37)
Kirubel Assefa - 07 - Ethio Jazz (5:02)
Kirubel Assefa - 08 - Webit (5:49)
Kirubel Assefa - 09 - Maraki (4:41)
Kirubel Assefa - 10 - Tana (5:48)
Holding true to the layered arrangements of the outstanding Ethiopian bands of the 70’s and 80’s, the sound is infused with contemporary elements. By collaborating with some of the best voices singing in Ethiopian music today, the plan is to fully exploit each single in its own right. A video has been shot in Addis to promote and expose the song “Ye Ethiopia Lij.” The story line follows a young Ethiopian who has been sent to the city to help support the family in the country. It captures a slice of life often overlooked but a reality that should be recognized and ultimately celebrated.
Kirubel Assefa - Bass, Keyboards (All tracks) Guitar (Track 4)
Teferi Assefa - Drums, (Track 2, 3, & 5) Percussion (all tracks)
Johnny Blackman - Drums (Track 9)
Reginald Spivey - Drums (Tracks 1, 4, 6, 7, 8 & 10)
Yoseph Ermias - Guitar (Track 2, 5 & 8)
Zakki Jawad - Guitar (Track 3)
Huit Kilos - Guitar (Tracks 1, 5, 6 & 8)
Michael McTagger - Guitar (Tracks 3, 7, 9 & 10)
Kamasi Washington - Saxophone ( All Tracks except Track 1)
Ryan Porter - Trombone (All Tracks except Track 1)
Cris Gray - Trumpet (All Tracks except Track 1)
Teklish Sisay (Track 2 & 8)
Tsedenia Gebremarkos (Tracks 1 & 6)
Fitsum Mahadere (Tracks 3 & 5)
Tsegaye Berhanu Selassie (Track 9)