Born in Addis Ababa, Girma Bèyènè is a composer, arranger, performer, bandleader, and a true legend of Ethiopian music. A contemporary of fellow musicians Mulatu Astatke, Mahmoud Ahmed, and Hailu Mergia, Girma is credited for arranging over 60 tracks in the 1960s and 70s in “Swinging Addis” during the Golden Era of Ethiopian music. He moved to the US to escape a brutal dictatorship and after a long hiatus from music was drawn back to the stage by his musical disciples, the France-based band Akalé Wubé, who are considered to be leading ambassadors of Ethiopian groove. That memorable concert resulted in the critically-acclaimed album Ethiopiques 30: Mistakes on Purpose – a collaborative project with Akalé Wubé and Bèyènè’s first recording in 25 years. The soulful, funky, Ethio-jazz album was produced by Francis Falceto, legendary producer of the famous Ethiopiques series.
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