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Tuesday 7 July 2009

Mighty Mahmoud

Today we bring you a couple of tracks from the great Ethiopian singer Mahmoud Ahmed.

I was lucky enough to see him in action at the Barbican last year along with other big names from pre-Derg days.

There was a large beard-stroking contingent there for the composer and vibraphone player Mulatu Astatke who is apparently highly innovative but I'm afraid I just found deadly dull. Things took a distinct turn for the better with the arrival of Alemayehu Eshete, known as the James Brown of Addis Ababa in his prime.

But as excellent as he was, Mahmoud Ahmed was a class apart. He has an exceptional voice and is a surprisingly charismatic performer considering his stage movements were pretty much limited to occasonally jumping up and down on the spot and clapping his hands.

The selections are "Abbay Mado" and "Yedetnash":

And here he is performing "Tezeta" last year:

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