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Tribute to Alle Felegeselam @ Alliance Ethio-Française

An exhibition celebrating the works and life of the late Ale Felegeselam has been opened at the Alliance Ethio-Française on September 8 and will stay open until November 30. 28 young artists are exhibiting their very first art works in collaboration with the Ale School of Fine Arts and Design.

The pioneer of Ethiopian modern art, Ale Felegeselam, passed away this week at 95. Born in Selale Fitche in 1924, Ale moved to Addis Ababa at a young age. Coming from a family of painters, his grandfather was one of the painters who left a great impact in Ethiopian church history and was also well-liked by the then Emperor Menelik.

After graduating from technical school, he worked in a garage until the Emperor granted him a scholarship to go abroad and study engineering. Leaving engineering aside, Ale studied Art and received his BA in Fine Arts in 1954 from the Institute of Art in Chicago—a reputed art college in the United States.

East African Global Music Campus concert @ Goethe-Institut

The Goethe-Institut Addis Ababa will host a concert on Friday September 23 at 6pm where the participants will perform music from Ethiopia to Mozambique in a unique fusion of music traditions from the continent.

This concert is part of the East African Global Music Campus. The East African Global Music Campus is a training program that has been going on for the past couple of years with the aim of developing a two-year East African music curriculum. This curriculum enables the participating institutions to offer a professional training program in their countries within a larger regional music education network. The regional outreach will make it possible for students and teachers to exchange ideas, and therefore contribute to the development of the performing arts in the region.
 The project of the East African Global Music Campus started in May and June 2015 when the Global Music Academy (GMA) in Berlin in co-operation with the Goethe-Institut staged a highly successful workshop tour in Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia.

New book Imperial Exile to hit shelves

A new book, Imperial Exile, a gripping story of the exile of Emperor Haile-Selassie in the UK where he spent most of his time at Fairfield House in Bath, is scheduled to be released on September 22, 2016 at the African and Middle Eastern Reading Room at the Library of Congress.

Emperor Haile-Selassie had to take refuge in the spa city of Bath in the 1930s after fleeing his country to escape the invading armies of the Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini. Imperial Exile reveals the full depth of the debilitating struggles that all exiles face. It tells the story of how the Emperor is nearly crushed by a myriad of financial, political and personal pressures. But then a sudden twist of good fortune intervenes.

The book is packed with beguiling eyewitness anecdotes, supported by a range of rare and fascinating photographs of both Britain and Ethiopia. The author is Keith Bowers, a former BBC executive producer who lives in Bath and travels regularly to Ethiopia.

Girma Beyene @ City University of NY

Next month Girma Beyene, who is among the few remaining artists of Ethiopia’s legendary musical renaissance of Swinging Addis, is scheduled to perform live at the City University of New York Graduate Center.

Girma’s concert is part of the university’s “Global Music Series” and will take place on October 24 accompanied by Feedel Band.

“Girma Beyene is one of the most influential Ethiopian musicians from the ‘Golden Age’ of the 1960s and 70s, which combined African rhythms with American R&B, soul, funk and big band jazz. [Girma] Beyene made a handful of recordings as a vocalist, but was an arranger, pianist, and composer that made his mark,” an announcement by City University of New York stated.;

Girma was born in Addis Ababa and is a popular lyricist, composer, arranger, vocalist, and pianist, most active during the golden era of Ethiopian vinyl record (1969-78). He only recorded four songs as a vocalist, but arranged more than 60 titles, and collaborated to at least 25 other tracks.