Would you believe it, this Ethiojazz and Classical prodigy only started playing the piano a little over five years ago?! 10,000 hours of deliberate practice? Perhaps, but that’ll only get you so far without that elusive thing called talent.
Samuel Yirga (25), who gave his solo debut a couple of weeks at the Queen Elizabeth Hall London, plays one night a week in Addis’s only jazz club/coffee bar, where the way he mixes Keith Jarrett and Herbie Hancock with Ethiojazz has won him a cult following.
“I take traditional music and turn it around, and people in Ethiopia are starting to listen to the way it swings now. Our musical culture is under attack from inside and out, it’s all rock bands, hip-hop groups and pop singers, and nobody can afford to run a big band.”
Samuel is also a member of Dub Colossus, the 12-piece band that mixes traditional Ethiopian sounds with reggae rhythms and a twist on modern dub. Actually, it was through his involvement with the band that he was introduced to Real World Records, the label on which his debut solo album will be released in 2011. You're going to be hearing a lot more from this guy in the years to come.
Samuel Yirga at Real World
DUB COLOSSUS MP3 GIVEAWAY
Azmari Dub (Mista Savona Remix) – Dub Colossus by thisisafrica
Real World Records is giving away a free download of Azmari Dub, remixed by Mista Savona. The roots reggae track features the fantastic vocals of Addis Ababa Azmari Diva and club owner Sintayehu 'Mimi' Zenebe. The track is from the 5-track EP Rockers Meet Addis Uptown (the original appeared on the album A Town Called Addis).
DOWNLOAD via the label’s site
More about Dub Colossus HERE