Alemayehu Eshete

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Alemayehu Eshete
Alemayehu Eshete (1).JPG
Background information
Born 1941 (age 76–77)
Jimma, Ethiopia
Genres Ethio-jazz
Occupation(s) Vocalist
Years active 1960s–present
Labels Buda Musique

Alemayehu Eshete (Amharic: ዓለማየሁ እሸቴ) (also written Alèmayèhu Eshèté in French) is an Ethiopian Ethio-jazz singer. He has performed since the 1960s and primarily sings in Amharic. Eshete has been nicknamed "the Ethiopian Elvis".[1][2]


Eshete's talent was recognized by colonel Rètta Dèmèqè who invited the young singer to perform with Addis Ababa's famous Police Orchestra. Eshete had his first hit ("Seul") in 1961 before moving on to found the orchestra Alèm-Girma Band with Girma Bèyènè.[3] Over the course of 15 years, Eshete released some 30 singles until the arrival of the communist Derg junta, which forced Eshete and many other artists into exile.[4]

Alemayehu Eshete has since gained fame in Europe and the Americas with the release of Buda Musique's Ethiopiques series of compilations on compact disc. Ethiopiques Volume 9 is devoted entirely to recordings of Eshete's earlier music,[5] and Volume 22 covers his career between 1972 and 1974. Other songs have also appeared on Volumes 3, 8, 10, and 13 or the series. In 2008 Eshete toured the United States with fellow Ethiopian singer Mahmoud Ahmed, backed by Boston's 10-piece Either/Orchestra.


Album Information
Addis Ababa
  • Released: 1992
Ethiopiques, Vol. 9
  • Released: 2001
The Rough Guide to the Music of Ethiopia
  • Released: 2004
Ethiopiques, Vol. 22 (1972–1974)
  • Released: 2007
The Rough Guide To Psychedelic Africa
  • Released: 2012
The Rough Guide to the Music of Ethiopia
  • Released: 2012


  1. ^ Gordon, Oliver (1 April 2016). "Notes from Ethiopia: the jazz revival in Addis Ababa". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  2. ^ Presenter: Courtney Pine (10 May 2014). "Swinging Addis". The Documentary. BBC. BBC World Service. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  3. ^ Richards, Chris (12 October 2016). "Girma Beyene, a titan of Ethiopian jazz, returns to Washington". The Washington Post. Washington, D.C. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  4. ^ Harris, Craig. "Biography: Alemayehu Eshete". Allmusic. Retrieved 13 April 2010.
  5. ^ ETHIOPIQUES VOLUME 09 on Buda Musique Archived 7 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine., Retrieved 10 September 2012.

External links[edit]