Music from East Africa

It’s a musical journey through an overlooked part of Africa, with excerpts from the Ethiopiques series, the new Zanzibara series, and recordings by Nursery Boys, Samite, and more. For this program, we’ll dip into the Ethiopiques series, so far numbering 21 in a series of 30 releases, all kinds of hypnotic groove from the "golden" years of the late '60s and early '70s in "swinging" Addis Ababa. Hear the ska, funk, and blues which permeated the Ethiopian pop and jazz music of the day, some with ferocious horns, some with swirls of Latino and Middle Eastern sounds as well. Plus, there’s orchestral taarab music from the island of Zanzibar – from the brand new series called Zanzibara. With oud, ney, qanun (zither) and frame drum, augmented with violins and accordion, it’s a blend of sounds from the Arab world, India, Indonesia and the West, combined with the classical traditions of Swahili poetry, local rhythm and melody. And more.

PROGRAM # 2533, A Musical Tour of East Africa
(First aired on Monday, April 10, 2006)






Vol. 21 – Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou

Homesickness, excerpt [1:30]

BudaMusique #860122


Vol. 1 – Golden Years of Modern Ethiopian Music, 1969-1975

Tèshomè Meteku: Hasabe [4:00]

Buda Musique #82951 See above, or downloadable from


Vol. 3 – Golden Years of Modern Ethiopian Music

Muluqèn Mèllèssè: Tenesh Kelbe Lay [4:00]

Buda Musique #82963 See above, or downloadable from


Vol. 20 – Either/Orchestra Live In Addis

Antchin Endelela [7:00]

Buda Musique #860121


Vol. 2 – The Golden Years of Mombasa Taarab

Zein L’Abdin: Musiwe Na Mshangao [4:00]

Buda Musique #860119


Vol. 1 - Ikhwani Safaa Musical Club – A Hundred Years of Taarab In Zanzibar

Cheo Chako, excerpt [6:00]

Buda Musique #860118

Abana Ba Nasery

Nursery Boys Go Ahead!

Sumila Omusiele [5:00]

Green Linnet #4002, re-released on the Globe/ City Hall label. Available at*

3 Mustaphas 3

Heart of Uncle

Kem Kem [4:30]

Rykodisc #20156



Setula [6:00]

Triloka/Artemis #82071** *

*, ** - Find the recordings you've heard - go to the New Sounds Recordings Information page