Singer Alemayehu Eshete known as ‘Abyssinian Elvis’ dies at 80

As a child, Alemayehu loved to watch Elvis Presley movies and sing Presley songs for his friends at school. Dreaming After becoming a star in Hollywood, she once ran away from home by hitchhiking to a port city in Eritrea, where she hoped to board a ship to America. When someone contacted his family, his mission failed and he was sent home.

Mr. Eshete was survived by his wife, Ayehu Kebede Desta; seven children; and six grandchildren.

As Addis Ababa enters the new millennium, its musical past is revisited as part of a cultural process. revival. Young musicians reverently played old songs and lost classics became radio hits again. Mr. Eshete started performing every Wednesday at a venue called Jazzamba Lounge.

In 2008, Mr. Eshete and three other prominent Ethiopian musicians, Mahmoud Ahmed, Mulatu Astatke and saxophonist Getatchew Mekurya, performed together barbican In London and at the Glastonbury festival. Supported by New England-based New York Ya/OrchestraMr. Eshete played at Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center.

“Mr. Eshete was charismatically at her best,” Nate Chinen wrote. review “Each line began with a single clarity note and then dived into a quick burst of flames. On set, he tried a few other approaches, such as an suggestive song and a bark befitting his nickname, Ethiopian James Brown.

a funeral ceremony was attended by hundreds of people For Mr Eshete at Meskel Square in Addis Ababa. An orchestra that plays before the coffin is taken away. Just months ago, Mr. Eshete’s music was echoing in the square. carried out he sang with a band there,Addis Ababa Bete” (“Addis Ababa, My Home”).

Mr. Eshete had recorded it. melodyA funky love letter to his city with the musical outlaw Amha in 1971. They sold it from Amha’s daring little record store, where it quickly became a hit and set the rocking Addis on fire.

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