Sheba Sound is the ongoing product of over six years of events, music digging and recordings, originating in Addis Ababa and spanning as many of the areas of the country as is physically possible to reach.
Music drew us to this beautiful, historic country.
Most of the old music is littered across cassettes, reels and vinyl in dusty corners. For new music, contemporary musicians outside Addis Ababa have little opportunity to record and proudly express their unique mesmerising sounds.
We at Sheba Sound are trying to redress this balance. We are committed to recording and introducing diverse music to Ethiopians themselves as well as to foreign communities.
We have our work cut out; there are over 85 separately recognised tribes, all of whom define themselves through their unique language, music, customs, values and clothing.
We bring traditional deep Ethiopian sounds, with a modern twist, to dancefloors and bars all over the world.
Ethio-funk mix of songs that have never been re-issued.
I was asked a while back by a label in the UK if I could compile an album of ethio-funk songs from the 70's that were never re-issued.
Being a Dj in Addis, my immediate inclination was to do a comp on the Amhara, traditional Chichika beat - the one that gets everyone dancing.
I used to play this stuff in Fendika Asmari House in Addis with DJ Mitmitta.
The comp never happened, but here's a little mix of that Chichika magic that got the room all heated up.
The tribal cultures of Eastern Africa, and in fact, the world, are fast disappearing. Within twenty years, Kenya will reach the take-off point of economic development, and by the turn of the century, foreign industrialization will transform the pastoral nomadic way of life in Northern Kenya and Soutbern Ethiopia into a 19th-Century midwestern town. The ties of the people with the land will be broken. A major highway will run through Central Ethiopia bringing tourists and money to a country which does not have enough water for its own people, whose lakes are polluted and infested by lethal worms which produce incurable intestinal disorders.
As the world reaches the 21st-Century, the Ethiopians may not have enough water to drink, much less to wash their clothes. Men in Adis now wear socks and shoes, the children wear paisley shirts, yet in the South, in the semi-desert conditions, life is still survival; the people live from one day to the next trading goods, bartering, and praying for rain for the harvest. The legends of the past are only preserved in song, and the wandering bards are rarely seen,as they work in the fields as much as fifteen hours a day. A medicine man 1s rare, because the spirit of the old religions and customs are not permitted to continue in a culture which is fast breaking its way into the Twentieth Century. Mythology 1s song in Ethiopia, and the song is the experience of life o As the animals die, the songs of the water-hole and the market disappear; the deeds of the warriors who fought the Turks and the Egyptians are silenced forever.
One of the last traditionally Hebraic tribes of Ethiopia, the Falashim live in Ambover, in a village about ten miles ~om Gondar. In order to reach the village, one must either walk seven miles from where the bus stops, or take a Landrover over cow pastures and farming lands, through small valleys and over small hills. Quiet people, the Falashim still worship in the same traditions as their ancestors did 2,000 years ago.
Speaking Geez, the ancient language from which Amhara, the national language of Ethiopia developed, the Falasha worship in a small hut without an altar.
The Kohnian, or prayers, are conducted by the leader, while the other m@mbers chant and singo Geez is also the language used by the Coptic Church for prayer, but at times Hebrew words are interspersed. The
Falasha people used to conduct the service entirely in Hebrew, but since the time of the Sudanese War in 1892, when the Hebrew books were
burned, they have been praying in Geez.
The Falasbim believe that in 586 the first exiles from Babylon came through Egypt to Ethiopiao There are still other conclaves or groups of isolated Falasha who live around Gondar, in the GoJjam Province, but their numbers are steadily decreasing because of intermarriages.
The Falashim or Falasha people migrated from a very substantial community in Jerusalem, during the l7th, l8th and 19th Centuries.
The combination of the Turkish seizure of the Ethiopian seaboard, the plague which ravaged Jerusalem in 1838, and the unacceptance of the Armenians who persecuted the new Turkish subjects, forced the Falashim to flee to their present location.
In Ambover, one of the centers of the Falasha, the people live around the school, which was built in 1970, yet it is not uncommon for a
villager to live on an ajoining hilltop. The Falashim children learn three languages in school: English, Amharic, and Hebrew. Atter they reach the age of fifteen, they must either be accepted by the university in Addis, or go to work in the fields. Extremely poor people, the Falasha depend on the land to survive, yet farming La difficult without machines. The chanting of the Falasha is the celebration of life, and was recorded 8/11/72. The ceremony has rarely been heard.
The Adjuran are a semi-nomadic group of wandering cattle herders who
live north of Isiolo, Kenya, and south of Dilla, Ethiopia, approximately a distance of 500 miles. The small, pastoral agricultural villages are along a road of tar, clay and dirt, which is sometimes non-existant in the mountains of the Maji Province o Part of the Garris Tribe, 'N'hich is Berber, these people make temporary shelters, trade, barter, and raise cattle. Their music is traditional; singers, dancers, religious nomads, Moslems, who raise their hands in trance-like dances, undulate their bodies, inhale/exhale short audible modulations of poly- rhythmic chanting. With their raised arms, the Adjuran hop together, lifting one foot, jumping three or four feet into the air, imitating their camels which graze a short distance awiay, licking a white powder from their hands.
Like the Garris, the Burgia, the Borana, the Adjuran also sing ot the camel, the King, the cow and the baby.The love of man for man is instinctual; it is revealed in the actions of the dance - the ritual play of the animal or man, even before there was speech. The King, Emperor Haile Selassie, is praised as a hero, for letting the people be free (not for letting them live in destitution). Although the tribes are rounded up by the local police and ushered intothe villages for the ceremonial festivities of the Emperor's eightieth birthday, they do not regret coming because they are permitted to eat all the raw meat they can the two-day celebration. Tedj, honey-mead beer, is abundant, and this is the event when camel herders arrive in Moyak to talk, love, reminisce, and barter their goods o The Borana come across the border from Kenya, and the Rindilla sine on the water barrels.
Jewish Community in Gondar, Ethiopia
01 - Members of the Falasha Tribe recorded in Ambover & Ethiopia - Falasha: The Complete Ceremony of Shabbat Shalom (24:15)
This album features the religious music of Ethiopian Jews, known as Falashas. While most Falashas--and Ethiopians in general--speak Amharic, the tracks on this album are in Geez.
There is no evidence the Falashas have ever spoken Hebrew. Liner notes include photographs as well as a brief history and description of the Falasha culture.
Falasha - Exile of the Black Jews Beta Israel
Origins & History Of The Tribe of Falasha
Falashas, native Jewish sect of Ethiopia.The origin of the Falashas is unknown. One Falasha tradition claims to trace their ancestry to Menelik, son of King Solomon of Israel and the queen of Sheba. Some scholars place the date of their origin before the 2nd century BC, largely because the Falashas are unfamiliar with either the Babylonian or Palestinian Talmud.
The Bible of the Falashas is written in an archaic Semitic dialect, known as Ge'ez, and the Hebrew Scriptures are unknown to them. The name Falasha is Amharic for "exiles" or "landless ones"; the Falashas themselves refer to their sect as Beta Esrael ("House of Israel").
The religion of the Falashas is a modified form of Mosaic Judaism unaffected generally by postbiblical developments.
The Falashas retain animal sacrifice. They celebrate scriptural and nonscriptural feast days, although the latter are not the same as those celebrated by other Jewish groups.
One of the Falasha nonscriptural feast days, for example, is the Commemoration of Abraham.
The Sabbath regulations of the Falashas are stringent.They observe biblical dietary laws, but not the postbiblical rabbinic regulations concerning distinctions between meat and dairy foods.
Marriage outside the religious community is forbidden.
Monogamy is practiced, marriage at a very early age is rare, and high moral standards are maintained.
The center of Falasha religious life is the masjid, or synagogue. The chief functionary in each village is the high priest, who is assisted by lower priests. Falasha monks live alone or in monasteries, isolated from other Falashas. Rabbis do not exist among the Falashas.
The Falashas live either in separate villages or in separate quarters in Christian or Muslim towns, in the region north of Lake Tana. They are skilled in agriculture, masonry, pottery, ironworking, and weaving.
Under Haile Selassie I, a few Falashas rose to positions of prominence in education and government, but reports of persecution followed the emperor's ouster in 1974.
More than 12,000 Falashas were airlifted to Israel in late 1984 and early 1985, when the Ethiopian government halted the program.
The airlift resumed in 1989, and about 3500 Falashas emigrated to Israel in 1990. Nearly all of the more than 14,000 Falashas remaining in Ethiopia were evacuated by the Israeli government in May 1991.
The Falashas themselves say that they are direct descendants from the family of Abraham, the first Jew. Terah, Abraham's father,came from the land of Ur of the Chaldees which was located in the southern part of the Euphrates.
The Chaldees were one of many Kushite tribes of the region and Kushite means Black according to the Bibical dictionary. The Kushites were descended from Kush a son of Ham.
Godfrey higgins,an English expert on antiquities stated in his book :
"The Chaldees were originally Negroes"
Falasha (or Beta Israel), a Jewish Hamitic people of Ethiopia who claim descent from Menelik I, the son of the queen of Sheba and King Solomon; have no knowledge of Talmud but use a Bible and a prayer book written in Ge'ez, the ancient Ethiopian language.
They follow Jewish traditions including circumcision, observing the Sabbath, attending synagogue, and following certain dietary and purity laws.
Recognized in 1975 by the Chief Rabbinate as Jews and allowed to settle in Israel.
In 1984-85 thousands of Falashas resettled to Israel from refugee camps in Sudan as part of the Israeli government's "Operation Moses" and the U.S. government's "Operation Sheba."
Falasha, also spelled Felasha, an Ethiopian of Jewish faith. The Falasha call themselves House of Israel (Beta Israel) and claim descent from Menilek I, traditionally the son of the Queen of Sheba (Makeda) and King Solomon. Their ancestors, however, were probably local Agau (Agaw, Agew) peoples in Ethiopia who were converted by Jews living in southern Arabia in the centuries before and after the start of the Christian Era. The Falasha remained faithful to Judaism after the conversion of the powerful Ethiopian kingdom of Aksum to Christianity in the 4th century ce, and thereafter the Falasha were persecuted and forced to retreat to the area around Lake Tana, in northern Ethiopia. Despite Ethiopian Christian attempts to exterminate them in the 15th and 16th centuries, the Falasha partly retained their independence until the 17th century, when the emperor Susenyos utterly crushed them and confiscated their lands. Their conditions improved in the late 19th and 20th centuries, at which time tens of thousands of Falasha lived in the region north of Lake Tana. Falasha men are traditionally ironsmiths, weavers, and farmers. Falasha women are known for their pottery.
The Falasha have a Bible and a prayer book written in Geʿez, an ancient Ethiopian language. They have no Talmudic laws, but their preservation of and adherence to Jewish traditions is undeniable. They observe the Sabbath, practice circumcision, have synagogue services led by priests (kohanim) of the village, follow certain dietary laws of Judaism, observe many laws of ritual uncleanness, offer sacrifices on Nisan 14 in the Jewish religious year, and observe some of the major Jewish festivals.
From 1980 to 1992 some 45,000 Falasha fled drought- and war-stricken Ethiopia and emigrated to Israel. The number of Falasha remaining in Ethiopia was uncertain, but estimates ranged to only a few thousand (see Researcher’s Note: Falasha migration to Israel, 1980–92). The ongoing absorption of the Falasha community into Israeli society was a source of controversy and ethnic tension in subsequent years.
Falasha! The Saga of Ethiopian Jewry Part 2
Unspecified - Prayer for Passover 01464A1 (1:36)
Unspecified - Prayer for New Year 0146A2 (1:20)
Unspecified - Prayer for Passover 01464B1 (1:46)
Unspecified - Prayer "Adonai" for Saturday 0146B2 (2:24)
Unspecified - Prayer of Absolution 01465A1 (3:03)
Unspecified - Prayer "Adonai" for Weekdays 01465A2 (2:25)
The golden age of Ethiopian popular music (as heard on the fabled ETHIOPIQUES series) is famous in part for the sparsity of material that it yielded: The state-owned recording industry was largely a ramshackle government vanity, and while music of the music it captured was strikingly haunting, only a few dozen tracks were recorded in the 1960s and '70s...
Express Band - Ethiopian Instrumental Music
Since then, the floodgates have opened as Ethiopia has more or less entered the modern world -- more artists are making and recording more music than was dreamed possible back in the politically repressive "good old days," and the fruits of this renaissance are heard on this 6-CD set.
The tracks are from the late 1990s and early '00s -- the artists are generally younger, more modern musicians, although a few old-timers like Mahmoud Ahmed are still alive and kicking, and sound as cool as ever. Although this collection doesn't have the same eerie power as the '70s-era recordings, anyone who got into the ETHIOPIQUES discs will want to check this out as well, to see where the music has gone since then.
Akalé Wubé’s third album, Sost (“three” in Amharique) is perfectly in line with their previous records, it is also a testament to a more mature and experienced band, who have proved able to win over different audiences in different circumstances with their infectious grooves. While touring in Ethiopia, the band realised that local musicians had stopped playing music from the Swinging Addis golden age. A puzzling but liberating discovery that convinced the band to completely stand behind their project, and release three albums to date.
More than half of the tracks in “Sost” are original compositions, with the other half being songs discovered on old cassette tapes brought back from Ethiopia. Akalé Wubé have invited the radiant Genet Asefa on three tracks, an Ethiopian singer with whom they have often shared the stage. Cautious to give precedence to authentic encounters, the band have chosen only to invite musicians with whom they have already played in a live context. Manu Dibango’s presence on the album is not an opportunistic move: there are strong human and musical ties between the afro-jazz pioneer and Akalé Wubé. Another sign of the band’s high quality expectations is that the album has been recorded in a studio set up by the band itself in the heart of Paris. This is a space that Akalé Wubé have made their own and which has permitted them to master completely the process of recording this album.
Akalé Wubé - Anbessa (feat Manu Dibango)
Akalé Wubé's third album is aptly-titled Sost, which means 'three' in Amharic--the official language of Ethiopia. The music is highly groove-based and follows the early traditions of Ethiopian jazz, which is not too unlike the popular Ethiopiques series. About half of the music is based on traditional recordings and cassettes found in Ethiopia, while the other half of the songs are original compositions. The emotive vocalist, Genet Asefa, leads a few tracks with her seasoned voice in line with tradition Ethiopia music. The blurt of a trumpet, the beat of a drum, and a jazzy melody with Afro-jazz flavorings rounds out the gist of each song. However, each song brings something new to light--whether it be a hook, a sound, or a rhythm. Akalé Wubé know how to tease the feet with danceable grooves and lush sounds. This is another acclaimed album. ~ review by Matthew Forss
Ethio Cali is a Los Angeles-based Ethio-Jazz ensemble, led by trumpeter, arranger, and composer Todd Simon. The ensemble’s sublime sound is inspired by the golden age of Ethiopian music of the 1960’s and 70’s, filtered through a lens that is uniquely Los Angeles.
Acknowledging the diverse musical foundations of Ethio-Jazz, the ensemble also draws inspiration from the rhythmic and melodic textures of Sudan, Somalia, Ghana, and Colombia. Ethio Cali’s published cassette Live at The Blue Whale. [ find it : HERE ]
Todd Simon's Ethio-Cali Ensemble - Fowler Museum at UCLA 8/14/11
Ethio Cali features: Todd Simon – Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Music Director Kamasi Washington – Tenor Saxophone Randal Fisher – Tenor Saxophone Mark de Clive-Lowe – Keys Alan Lightner – Steel Pan Damon Aaron – Guitar Pat Bailey – Bass Steve Haney – Percussion Te’Amir Yohannes Sweeney – Percussion Dexter Story – Drums
Kamasi Washington - Tenor Sax
Justo Almario - Tenor Sax/Clarinet
Richi Panta - Percussion
Geoff Mann - Percussion
Elizabeth Lea - Trombone
Mark Cross - Keys
Thomas Lea - Viola
Tylana Renga - Vioin
Peter Jacobson - Cello
Dereb the Ambassador
Perna (Antibalas/Ocote Soul Sounds)
Jared Tankel (Budoes Band)
Aaron Johnson (Antibalas/FELA!)
EthioCali - 01 - Azmar (11:19) EthioCali - 02 - Mulatu (13:14) EthioCali - 03 - Sabye (My Saba) - Live @ Del Monte Speakeasy March 17,12 (7:10) EthioCali - 04 - Sidama de Cali (5:11) EthioCali - 05 - Tadias - Live @ Del Monte Speakeasy March 17, 2012(7:10) EthioCali - 06 - Tiny Pyramids (8:08) EthioCali - 07 - Zafari Live at the Blue Whale (9:37) EthioCali - 08 - Zafari (8:50)