Showing posts with label jazz vocal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jazz vocal. Show all posts

Friday, October 27, 2017

Wayna - The Expats [2013] [usa-ethiopia]

   R   E   U   P   L   O   A   D   

       It has been said that Ethiopian-born, singer/songwriter Wayna possesses a voice that is as sweet and pure as it is honest and passionate. This young talent’s love for music started as a child, when she starred in theater productions like “Annie,” and “Damn Yankees” and toured with a children’s musical review company. Wayna went on to hone her vocal talents as a young adult by absorbing the works of her favorite artists, including Minnie Riperton, Billie Holiday, Stevie Wonder, and Donny Hathaway.

Wayna - Daydream

       While in college, Wayna was crowned Miss Black Unity of the University of Maryland in 1995, earning a one year tuition scholarship and special honors for “Best Talent” and “Best Response to Question” at the 17th annual pageant. The following year, she founded a gospel quartet and performed with the group at the World Famous Apollo Theater in Harlem, NY, where they placed as finalists in the Amateur Night competition. She traveled with the critically acclaimed University of Maryland Gospel Choir and regularly performed at churches and gospel showcases throughout the East coast.

           After earning a Bachelor’s degree with a double major in English and Speech Communication from the University of Maryland, Wayna began her professional career as a Writer in the White House for the Clinton administration. But soon, the pull to realize her dream as a recording artist would prove too great. She left to concentrate on her music full-time. 

    Since then, Wayna has collaborated with legendary studio icon/producer Bill Laswell, with critically and comercially hailed producer Eran Tabib, Jive Records producer, Veit Renn, and former Touch of Jazz standout, Kev Brown. She is a featured vocalist/co-writer on on the Sly and Robbie album, Version Born released by Palm Pictures and also featuring contributions from Killah Priest, Black Thought, and N’dea Davenport. She’s also served as a featured vocalist and writer on a number of independent projects for artists, including W. Ellington Felton, Kenn Starr, Kev Brown, Cy Young, and Tamara Wellons.

       Unlike Wayna's jazzy neo-soul albums Moments of Clarity, Book 1 and Higher Ground (which earned her a Grammy nod for "Lovin You (Music)"), her latest release, The Expats, explores the Ethiopian-born singer-songwriter's desire to sonically travel, employing greater world beat influences while drawing on unexpected sides of her voice. 

     Standout opening track "Yo Yo" shows off her dreamy melodic vocals against African beats, revealing that although she's labeled a progressive R&B artist, she would shine in more rock-based genres, too; on the theatrical "Freak Show," her crazy range soars to operatic levels. There are moments where Wayna's flawlessly executed vocals sound strident, making one miss the sultry soul she showcased on previous releases, like "I Don't Want to Wait," a track on which uncooperative production aims itself in too many directions, ultimately working against itself. Overall, Wayna has an innate ability to enrich each song with atmosphere, making The Expats a sweeping global affair: the songs take you to the Sahara desert ("Echo") and the lush plains of Jamaica ("Amazing"), all the while bringing something to music that is too special to ignore.

01. Wayna - Yo Yo (5:44)
02. Wayna - Time Will Come (feat. Emperor Haile Selassie) (4:44)
03. Wayna - Echo (4:28)
04. Wayna - Amazing (4:01)
05. Wayna - I Don't Wanna Wait (4:25)
06. Wayna - Freak Show Intro (feat. Chris Rouse) (0:43)
07. Wayna - Freak Show (4:25)
08. Wayna - Long as You Know (feat. Setgn Satenaw) (5:17)
09. Wayna - Send It Away (feat. Frederic Yonnet) (4:42)
10. Wayna - Holy Heathen (feat. Naz Tana) (6:00)

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Nasambu + Kibrom - Peace, Love and Mercy [2016] [ep] [ethiopia]

       The 2016 debut EP from Jazz/Classical duo, Nasambu + Kibrom, Peace, Love and Mercy, is a carefully sculpted 3-song vision of jazzy elegance, three years in the making. Starting with the release of Selam (Peace), as a single and music video in 2014, the EP was entirely recorded and filmed in Los Angeles, CA. Both artists are solo musicians in their own right, and also members of the internationally acclaimed AfroSoul band, Nasambu and The Mystic Nomads, but that very first time they wrote a song together, it came into being instantaneously and with such ease. A complete song formed in a few short minutes, and thus they became the duo, Nasambu + Kibrom.

    A virtuoso composer and pianist, Kibrom Birhane creates the fluid musical soundscape for Nasambu’s lyricism and soaring melodies to emerge as a blend of soulful Classical and Jazz tones, combining Ethiopian and Western scales with poetry sung in English, Swahili and Amharic. Mercy, the second track, has a catchy syncopated groove that lyrically speaks to the large waves of mass migration sweeping across the globe in our time, depicting the universal hope of finding that mythical city in the sun where all the people sing as one, and ‘the glory of the light shines down on everyone’.

Nasambu & Kibrom - Mercy 
(Official Jazz Single 2016)

      The final single released August 2016 in conjunction with the EP, Take Your Time, is a sweeping, sensual love song, where the singer beckons her beloved to take his time as they carefully develop a love that is strong enough to build lasting legacies and weather any storm.

Nasambu + Kibrom - 01 - Take Your Time (4:46)
Nasambu + Kibrom - 02 - Peace, Love and Mercy (2:59)
Nasambu + Kibrom - 03 - Selam (5:18)

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Aster Aweke - Kabu [1989] [ethiopia]

   R  E  U  P  L  O  A  D  

       This Ethiopian beauty's Aster and Kabu albums show why she’s sometimes been dubbed the “African Aretha Franklin.”


Aster Aweke - Tchewata

        There’s no mistaking Aster Aweke’s primary influences. Listen, for example, to her early ’90s albums Aster and Kabu, with their Memphis-style horn section, soulful keyboards and crackling drums, and it’s immediately apparent why she’s sometimes been dubbed the “African Aretha Franklin.” Lady Soul, along with the Godfather, James Brown, and vocally versatile jazz singers such as Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan, loom largely in her roots, her deep R&B/funk groove a reminder that bridges are meant to be crossed. Aweke doesn’t leave the traditional behind by any means; she respects it, she draws from it, but she’s never beholden to it.

       And then there’s that voice, as supple and mystifying an instrument as has ever been. Simultaneously tamed and wild, its flights of fancy are wondrous things. You can’t help but be awed.

      Aweke was born in Gondar, Ethiopia, some time between the late ’50s and 1961, depending on which account you believe. She grew up in the capital city of Addis Ababa and began singing as a teen, working with several groups, most notably the Roha Band. As Ethiopia entered a period of unrest following the death of iconic leader Haile Selassie, Aweke left for the United States. She became increasingly popular within the Ethiopian community in the States, performing in restaurants and clubs, particularly in her adopted home of Washington, D.C., one of the largest Ethiopian expat communities in the country.

    Aweke signed to the small Triple Earth label in 1989, and the two aforementioned albums were then picked up by Columbia Records, which had high hopes for her commercial potential in the West. The sales didn’t pan out but Aweke has continued to record and tour—her 1995 Live In London CD is an excellent primer that displays her charismatic appeal to the fullest.

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)

Friday, May 27, 2016

Yeshi Demelash - Qene [2012] [ethiopia]

   R   E   U   P   L   O   A   D    

   Yeshi Demelash has been called “arguably the most talented contemporary female Ethiopian jazz singer.”

             Musicians like Theodros Tadesse, Aster Aweke, and Gigi inspired Yeshi in her teens which later led her join Yared, Addis Ababa University school of music in 2004, where she majored in flute and minored in piano. 

          Apart from her music work Yeshi has also worked on a movie, worked as a radio host and as a music teacher. But she is highly known for her strong and constructive criticisims have let her establish a reputation in the field. 

        In 2012 Yeshi has released album titled "Qene" an ode to Ethiopia’s ancient literary and oral traditions, which has taken more than a year to prepare. Her new album has taken the Ethiopian music industry by storm with her pop and jazz amharic fusion styled musics.

Now Yeshi’s voice has captured the attention of New York-based producer Bill Laswell — the person behind the records of Jano and Gigi — and he is currently remixing one of her songs entitled Fano

Yeshi plans to work on a new album with Laswell when she begin her first American tour.

01. Yeshi Demelash - Fano (3:25)
02. Yeshi Demelash - Qene (4:56)
03. Yeshi Demelash - Tekusena Berad (4:02)
04. Yeshi Demelash - Melkamena Kefu (4:09)
05. Yeshi Demelash - Na (3:26)
06. Yeshi Demelash - Geday Neh (4:17)
07. Yeshi Demelash - Habesha (4:13)
08. Yeshi Demelash - Kokob (3:46)
09. Yeshi Demelash - Dekmete (5:08)
10. Yeshi Demelash - Zare (4:14)
11. Yeshi Demelash - Hager (5:00)
12. Yeshi Demelash - Sakena Chewata (4:50)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Emilia Mitiku - Live In London [EP] [eth+swe]

Emilia Mitiku - Ooh La La @ The Roof Gardens, Kensington

       Emilia Rydberg, also known as Emilia Mitiku or more simply Emilia (born 5 January 1978, Stockholm, Sweden) is a Swedish pop music and soul singer, mostly known for her worldwide hit single, "Big Big World".

       As a student Rydberg attended the Adolf Fredrik's Music School in Stockholm.

     Rydberg was discovered in 1996 by Lars Anderson, son of ABBA's manager, Stig Anderson.

    Rydberg's father is the Ethiopian singer Teshome Mitiku, and her mother is Swedish. She used an alias of Emilia in the first years of her career, but more recently she has started to perform under the name of Emilia Mitiku, using her father's surname.

    In 2009 she competed in Melodifestivalen, the Swedish national selection for Eurovision Song Contest, with the song "You're My World". She advanced directly from her heat; however, she placed ninth in the final. She released her album My World in 2009. Her single "Teardrops" was released to radio stations on 2 June 2009. Her duet with Ákos Dobrády, "Side By Side" (Szerelemre hangolva), was recorded in both Hungarian and English languages and issued the same year.

     Emilia recorded a cover version of Rihanna's "We Found Love" for a studio session in Stockholm which was published on YouTube. On June 25, 2012, she released the single "Lost Inside".

                                                                             Albums :

Big Big World (1998)
Emilia (2000)
Små ord av kärlek (2007)
My World (2009)
I Belong to You (2013)

01 - Emilia Mitiku - Oh La La (Live in London) (3:12)
02 - Emilia Mitiku - Dream A Little Dream (Live in London) (2:59)
03 - Emilia Mitiku - So Wonderful (Live in London) (3:36)
04 - Emilia Mitiku - Lost Inside (Live in London) (4:58)

Friday, October 3, 2014

Ayoe Angelica - I'm Amazed [2008] [denmark+ethiopia]

Ayoe Angelica - Sugar

       Ayoe Angelica (b. 1988), is a Danish-Ethiopian female jazz / soul singer. She débuted with her ”I’m Amazed” album, in co-operation with producer / composer Mads B. B. Krog (aka Plateaux Techniques). Ayoe delivers an exciting combination of soulful vocals, acoustic elements and crunchy electronics, complemented by a touch of lo-fi jazz.

      Ayoe is one of those young talents you unsuccessfully could travel around the world looking for. And then it turns out that she walks around in Scandinavia in the small country of Denmark. The 20-year-old Danish/Ethiopian singers’ debut I’m amazed is an album that sets new standards for what modern pop, jazz/soul can, and wants to do. Ayoe Angelica wants to do quite a lot. Besides presenting us to some of the most intelligent music with hit guarantee heard in a long time, she is also a young woman with great social and human indignation. Ayoe 
Angelica is determined that 10 percent of the profit from I’m Amazed goes to relieve poor children in her second home country of Ethiopia.

     Ayoe Angelica is a natural talent, who started singing before she could speak. She grew up in the countryside of Denmark, and from her parents she received musical input stretching from Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald to Spice Girls. To her parents free musical and creative upbringing and large record collection was added singing and music teaching, all though many of her song teachers had to - after first being overwhelmed - recognize that a talent of Ayoe Angelicas calibre was difficult to combine with an ordinary Scandinavian song teaching tradition. In school she became interested in jazz music, formed her own jazz band, while at the same time becoming lead singer in the local big band. This brought her to a traditional Riverboat jazz festival, where she during a jam session met the Danish producer Mads B. B. Krog. He was completely thrilled by Ayoe Angelicas voice and stage performance and immediately suggested that they worked together.

       The producer, musician and composer Mads B. B. Krog had, through a 10 year period with more than 100 releases behind him, finally developed his completely personal musical sound and musical language called Plateaux Techniques. The meeting between them sparkled. Immediately after ending high school Ayoe Angelica left home and moved to Copenhagen. Here she and Mads B.B. Krog began the work on what later would become the album I’m Amazed.

This is the result. 11 completely irresistible songs that all move around in a musical borderland, one can attempt to characterize as a mixture of crunchy electronics, lo-fi jazz and melodic soul. But one should be careful to label Ayoe Angelica and I’m Amazed with too many designations. Because this is first and last a musical mix of creative genre defining and refreshing character, that leaves one speechless - and you really just have to listen, sense and experience it with an open mind. 

01 - Ayoe Angelica - Dr. Jekyll (4:00)
02 - Ayoe Angelica - Left Side (3:08)
03 - Ayoe Angelica - Get A Hold (4:07)
04 - Ayoe Angelica - Everybody Loves You (4:15)
05 - Ayoe Angelica - Sugar (3:48)
06 - Ayoe Angelica - God Bless The Child (3:39)
07 - Ayoe Angelica - Also On A Tuesday (3:03)
08 - Ayoe Angelica - Face With Nobody (4:40)
09 - Ayoe Angelica - I Want You (4:07)
10 - Ayoe Angelica - Never Drown (4:43)

11 - Ayoe Angelica - I'm Your Piano (6:18)

   Danish press reviews:   

Woman 5/6 (Record of the month)

“Wow! You are overwhelmed by how beautifully, atmospherically, and tastefully this debutant singer melts together with the sound picture.”

Costume 5/6

“…An ultra charming version of Billie Holiday mixed with Portishead on a happy day.”

Q 4/5

“Great Sunday music! Denmark’s new jazz diva”

Bazar 4/6

“…A delicious mixture of pop, soul and jazz, which is the perfect sound tapestry for a quiet Sunday.”

Copenhagen Magazine 4/6 

“…A great offer for this summers warmest and crispest soundtrack.”

Chili 4/6 

“The only 20year old Ayoe’s vocal is eminently delicious, soft, natural and pleasant.”


“Rarely does a debut sound more seductive and inviting than on Ayoe Angelicas new CD, I’m Amazed”

Friday, June 27, 2014

Emilia Mitiku - Winter [EP] [2012] [swe+ethiopia]

Emilia Mitiku - Winter Beach

       Emilia Rydberg also known as Emilia Mitiku (born 5 January 1978, Stockholm, Sweden) is a Swedish pop music and soul singer, mostly known for her hit, “Big Big World”. Emilia was discovered in 1996 by Lars Anderson, son of ABBA’s manager, Stig Anderson.

         Rydberg’s father is Ethiopian singer Teshome Mitiku, and her mother is Swedish. She used an alias of Emilia in the first years of her career but in 2012 she has started to perform under the name of Emilia Mitiku using her father’s surname. 

      She was exposed to a unique mix of cultures throughout her youth, reared by a Swedish mother and Ethiopian father. The traditional Ethiopian music and jazz that filled the house, thanks to her musical father, introduced Emilia to the joys of singing and performance early on. She decided on a life in music at the age of ten after one of her father's concerts, and was accepted into the Adolf Fredriks Music School in Stockholm shortly thereafter. 

       She studied classical music there for eight years, playing soul and pop music on the side. Emilia was discovered by Lars Anderson (son of ABBA member Stig Anderson) in 1996. Together she and Anderson set to work writing and recording what would become her debut record. Though finding time between work and her studies at university was difficult, the hard work paid off with the release of Emilia's debut single, "Big Big World," in September 1998. 

      The song became the fastest-selling single in Swedish history, attaining gold status after six days on the air, and platinum status five days after that. The song quickly went on to win fans all over Europe, dominating charts from Norway to Turkey. The full-length record Big Big World hit shelves in 1999, ultimately selling over a million copies. Her self-titled follow-up drew a producer and songwriters from the highest levels of the pop music industry. Though Emilia did not rule the pop charts as its predecessor had, the artist enjoyed the high sales and first-rate touring that come only with international stardom. 

      After a long period of silence, Emilia returned to the spotlight in 2007 with her third original release, Sma Ord Av Karlek, on the the independent Bonnier label rather than the behemoth Universal, which was responsible for her two previous records. In 2009, Emilia entered a competition to represent her country at the Eurovision Song Contest. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Almaz Yebio - Down To Earth [2013] [swe+ethiopia]

The beginning

       Music was a part of my life very early on. I began to sing in a choir when I was five years old. My family moved from Sweden to Kitwe, Zambia for a couple of years before continuing to Addis Abeba, Ethiopia. There I started playing the piano, an instrument I've always returned to through the years. Haile Selassie was deposed by a military junta so my parents quickly decided to take us children back to Sweden where I began taking classical guitar classes. I continued playing the guitar for more than a decade before realizing that my voice was my main instrument! I was 20 years old and studying at the Academy of music in Malmoe, Sweden when it became clear to me.

       Since my graduation as Master in fine Arts I've been working on a freelance basis as an artist, conductor and as a teacher. The projects through the years have been many and varied; some of which you can find amongst the records at sale.

01 - Almaz Yebio - Merry go round – M.Godée/A. Yebio
02 - Almaz Yebio - Further to fly – P.Simon
03 - Almaz Yebio - Hearts and bones – P.Simon
04 - Almaz Yebio - En dag var hon borta – K.Jonsson/J.Willén
05 - Almaz Yebio - Dancing – M.Ingvarsson/A.Yebio
06 - Almaz Yebio - Down to earth – P.Gabriel,T.Newman/P.Gabriel
07 - Almaz Yebio - Have a good time – P.Simon
08 - Almaz Yebio - The little things – F. Lundin/T-L.Væring
09 - Almaz Yebio - Solsbury hill – P.Gabriel
10 - Almaz Yebio - Washing of the water – P.Gabriel

       The latest recording "Down to earth" is the project closest to my heart at the moment! A sort of Almaz Yebio trio project that expanded towards more musicaians; an urge to give every song it's own sound within the record. I'm the producer of this record together with Mats Ingvarsson and it's also the first release on my own label!

     Member of Stroman/Jönsson vocal project, a Sweden/England collaboration discovering a suite written for five singers and five instrumentalists: Lena Willemark, Linda Pettersson-Bratt, myself, Scott Stroman, Cleveland Watkiss, all singers, and Maggi Olin-piano, Lisbeth Diers-percusion, Mattias Hjorth-bass, Cennet Jönsson-saxophones, Henrik Frisk- saxophones. A highly interesting and lovely piece of music with a lot of space for improvisations.

        Guest soloist on the latest record by Kjeld Lauritsen trio "In the zone". Kjeld is an institution all by himself in the Danish jazz community with his swinging Hammond organ playing!

         Since the release we have done quite some gigs together and it's really a thrill for someone like me who needs an injection of soul/jazz once in a while, that Hammond provides a sound to jump off of, every single time! In the trio you also find: Per Gade-guitar and Sören Frost-drums.

         Anna Weister-Andersson is one of Sweden's most acclaimed gospel singers and choir leaders. She is passionate about black american gospel music, and is putting her work as a composer, teacher and choir conductor into spreading and sharing this music throughout the country. 2011 Anna gathered a choir of ten singers and fie musicians to do the first recording entirely with her compositions, "One in Christ". I was invited to take part in this fantastic project, and we still do concerts when there is a possibility to gather the whole gang. Quite an undescribable feeling to be singing together with people like Samuel Ljungblahd, Malin Övrell, Ingela Olsson, Frank Ådahl, Malcolm Chambers, Martina W Möllås, Per Ankarberg, Kristina Talajic and Anna of course!

Almaz Yebio:  Vocals
Krister Jonsson:  Guitars and backing vocals
Mats Ingvarsson:  Basses, backing vocals, rhythm guitar
Fredrik Lundin:  Saxophones
Björn Jönsson:  Drums
Christian Glass:  Percussion
Dan Svensson:  Backing vocals