After 40 Years, Mulatu Astatke Still 'Sketches' Ethio-Jazz Deftly
by BANNING EYRE
It is bold indeed for any jazz artist to evoke Miles Davis' landmark album Sketches of Spain. But Mulatu Astatke, like Miles, is a true original.
The music Astatke first imagined 40 years ago sounds as fresh and contemporary today as it did in the swinging Addis Ababa of 1973 when Astatke created a signature "Ethio-jazz" style by blending jazz with Ethiopian music. Decades later, he earned an international following when his early recordings appeared on reissue CDs. Now, Astatke has rewarded fans with new album called Sketches of Ethiopia.
Teenage Ethiopian Americans bring parents' music to life
Music often divides generations, but one group of Ethiopian Americans in California are challenging that norm. They've embraced music from their parents' generation and are playing it in their band.
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that kids hate their parents’ music, or at least do their best to ignore it.
Garage bands don’t borrow CDs from their parents so they can practice disco covers. Unless it's in some kind of ironic hipster way.
There’s nothing ironic about the music being played in one particular suburban garage near Oakland, Calif. The Young Ethio Jazz Band are teenagers who rock out with their parents’ music.
The band played its first gig in San Francisco last winter. Now it's slated to open for another act at Yoshi’s, a famous jazz club in San Francisco, and then it plays in the Ethiopian Heritage Festival at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
Ethiopia: Teddy Afro to perform at NYC's B.B. King Blues Club on Feb 22
Source: B.B. King
Tewodros Kassahun, better known by his stage name of Teddy Afro, is an iconic Ethiopian pop star who has dominated the local music scene for nearly a decade. Calling himself a "man of freedom", Teddy sings about topics of reconciliations, unity, history, justice, equality and for political change. These subjects have gained him the hearts and ears of millions of adoring fans, as well as a list of enemies from the Ethiopian dictator and his dwindling loyalist.
Teddy was born in the Kuas Meda area of Addis Ababa, on July 14, 1976. His late father, Kassahun Germamo, was a renowned Ethiopian songwriter, while his mother, Tilaye Arage, was a professional dancer. Despite his parents being involved in the entertainment industry, they discouraged Teddy from perusing in becoming a musician.
Since signing with an Ethiopian record label in 2001, the pop star has officially released 6 albums: Abugida (2001), Tarik Tesera (2004), Yasteseryal (2005), Yasteseryal Edition 2 (2005), Best Collection-Nahom Volume 14 (2006), Tikur Sew (2012). His latest Album, Tikur Sew (black person), smashed Ethiopian record sales and is on pace to become the number one selling Ethiopian album of all time.
with Abogida Band
February 22, 2013
Showtime @ 11:59PM
Doors Open @ 11:00PM
Tickets $40.00 in advance, $50.00 day of show
Ethiopia: CCTV Africa profiles Ethiopian pop-star Teddy Afro
China's state-run CCTV profiles Ethiopian pop star Teddy Afro to African audience.
Samuel Yirga: A Prodigy Reviving Ethiopian Jazz
by BANNING EYRE
Samuel Yirga is a pianist from Ethiopia. A 20-something prodigy, Yirga is too young to have experienced the Ethio-jazz movement of the early 1970s, but he has absorbed its music deeply — and plenty more as well. With his debut release, Guzo, or "Journey," Yirga both revives and updates Ethiopian jazz.
His talent was recognized early, but music educators in Ethiopia placed roadblocks in Yirga's path. First, they told him his hands were too small to play piano. Later, he was thrown out of a prominent music school for experimenting too much. Yirga fit in better in the anything-goes world music scene in England. At last a place where his penchant to fuse jazz, Latin music, classical, pop and Ethiopian sounds made perfect sense.