Traditional and modern music at the Horn of Africa
Once also known as Abyssinia, the country at the Horn of Africa, with its more than 80 different ethnic groups, is considered the most populous landlocked country in the world. The Amhars, the Tigray and in the south the Oromo are among the best known and most numerous representatives. The musical spectrum is correspondingly multifaceted, ranging from the Azmaris – singers who usually roam the country with their krar, a kind of lyre similar to a griot – to ethio-jazz, with its best-known representative Mulatu Astatke, which emerged in the 1960s under the influence of Anglo-American pop music. The country’s religions, from the Ethiopian Orthodox Church to Islam and Ethiopian Judaism, are also reflected in the music. Many of today’s stars of the Ethiopian music scene, such as the singers Aster Aweke or Minyeshu, celebrated their great successes abroad, as they were forced to leave their home country due to the various, troubled political situations.
Minyeshu Kifle Tedia was born in the city of Dire Dawa in the East of Etiopia. During her childhood she moved to Addis Ababa and at the age of 17 she began her artistisc a career as a singer and dancer at the “National Theatre” of Ethiopia. With the creme de la creme of the Etiopian music scene she toured the world around. She joined the stage with famous Ethiopian musical icons such as Mulatu Astatke and singers like Mahmoud Ahmed, Tilahun Gessesse and many more.
Photo: © Bugs Steffen