Zeritu deliveres memorable performance
One of the biggest stars in poplar Ethiopian music, Zeritu Kebede delivered what should turn out to be the most memorable performance of the Ethiopian Music Festival on Saturday night, May 23.
Zertitu accompanied by the accomplished bassist Henok Temsgen, saxophonist Jorg Mesfin, drummer Natnael Tesema, pianist Samuel Yirga and back up singer Yeshi Yilma played for a crowd of about 400 people on Saturday night at the open air event.
Compared to the last month’s Ghion hotel concert, this was a small crowd but the setting felt and sounded intimate.
After taking stage,Zeritu started with “alekefam” and within moments, the audience was joyfully singing along. There was concentration on her face, precisions in her voice and she nailed the tunes perfectly from top to bottom.
While performance was admirable, a few technical glitches marred the start, forcing her to stop singing for few minutes. To make up for the time Jorg delivered a fantastic sax solo.
After the problem was fixed, Zeritu started crooning some of her known anguished love songs.
Another hit “Deg abate, Kifu balua” , in which she address her loving father who she said was undutiful, unkind and cruel to her mother was palyed with sound of sadness and whinhing.
For a salute to the late Tilahun Gessese and Minilik Wosenachew she played slightly reworked version of Tilahun’s “Weatatua” turning it into “wetau” and an acoustic rendition of Minilik’s hit “Sile wubetau sasib”.
Zeritu also played one piece form her soon-to be released album.
Most fans were impressed. Audience members in the first row were shouting Asmat nesh (You are magic).
Zeritu who began her career singing in English in her mid-teens is highly melodic vocalist with a deep sense of the blues.
It seemed an hour and a half wasn’t just enough as people were leaving the space wanting more.
Presented by the French Institute Alliance Française, the festival would be closing tomorrow with an performance from a group that plays Ethiopian reggae.