The much acclaimed Alemayehu Eshete held a concert at the Alliance éthio-française on Thursday February 20th.
The singer that started his career in the 1960s has always been referred to as the Ethiopian James Brown, although many say he was a more of an Elvis Presley.
Although he is compared to several western music legends, Alemayehu has held his own ground, producing some of the best Ethiopian music to date. The artist that represents what is referred to as the Golden Age of Ethiopian Music, sits with the likes of Bezunesh Bekele, Mahmoud Ahmed and the late Tilahun Gessesse.
Like most musicians from the Derg regime, Alemayehu was forced into exile, but before then he had released over 30 singles.
Like the story of other artists, Alemayehu went into the music industry by going against the advice of his family. He was first noticed by Colonel Retta Demeke who enlists him in the famous Police Orchestra of Addis Ababa, one of the only institutional orchestras, allowed to perform in public (with the famous orchestra of the Imperial Guard).
According to his biography, his first success comes in 1961 with the song “Alone and helpless”, he then started working with Girma Beyene who helped him establish the Alem – Girma Band.
The artist had then had a very successful career. His work took him all over the world and in 1984 he was awarded the Tchaikovsky composition award at the International Music Festival in Dresden, Germany.
To this day, Alemayehu Eshete remains to be one of the most respected and celebrated musicians in the Ethiopian and world music arena.