Spirit of the Nile (አባይ)
Spirit of the Nile (አባይ)
12 & 13 November 2022
Internationally celebrated and critically acclaimed musician/pianist and composer, Girma Yifrashewa, returns to Australia with ‘Spirit of the Nile/አባይ’ – a series of 2 concerts here at Footscray Community Arts.
These concerts will celebrate one of Ethiopia’s most beloved artists and the Ethiopian community, one that has developed such a vibrant and integral presence in Melbourne’s west.
The concerts will include the support of local jazz legends, JAzmari’s Trio as well as a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony to open the events and welcome our communities.
Date and Time
12th November 2022, 7-9:30pm
13th November 2022, 4-6:30pm
Venue: Footscray Community Arts, Performance Space and Foyer
Date & Times
Saturday 12 November 7:00 pm
Sunday 13 November 6:30 pm
- Performance Space
Ramp access to the building with allocated seating for audiences with wheelchair/mobility requirements.
Meet the Artists
Born in Addis Ababa Ethiopia, Girma Yifrashewa is a worthy new torchbearer of African pianism. His highly personalized approach to the piano likens him to Ethiopian composer Emahoy Tsege Mariam, while his use of Ethiopian pentatonic scale within the Western Art Music format places his compositions in conversation with more academically minded work.
Traditionally Ethiopian in melody, cinematic in vision, and deep in beauty, his compositions occupy a lyrical middle ground between classical and jazz that is supremely listenable yet defies easy classification.
Yifrashewa emigrated to Italy where, while under the care of Caritas, his talent and desire to return to his studies in Bulgaria were discovered by the Christian Brothers.
Through their support, he was able to return to the Sofia Conservatory in 1991, where he graduated with a Master’s in Piano under Professor Atanas Kurtev. It was in Bulgaria that he made an impact as a solo pianist, performing the works of Schumann, Schubert, Chopin, and Debussy,throughout the country until his return to East Africa in 1995.
He has a preference and well-determined approach to the music of Bach as well as Mozart and Beethoven. Yifrashewa returned to Ethiopia in 1995, teaching piano at the Yared School of Music until 2001. He received scholarships from the British and German Governments, at the Royal Academy of Music in London (1997) and at the Hochschule fur Music Und Theater in Leipzig (1999). Since then, Yifrashewa has established himself a pre-eminent composer of Ethiopia and worldwide.
Ethiopia has long been a land of exceptional musicianship and innovative hybrid styles, infusing influences from all four corners of the globe. A three–piece Ethio-Jazz ensemble, The JAzmaris pay tribute to this music, by combining a mix of original compositions with those of the great Ethiopian composers who have come before them.
Unique in its sound, skill and scale structure, the group was established by pianist Daniel Atlaw Seifu, a professionally trained Ethiopian jazz, traditional and contemporary musician who graduated from the Yared School of Music in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. Before arriving in Australia in 2007, Daniel was a resident musician, composer, arranger and teacher at the Ethiopian National Theatre.
JAzmaris are fronted by energetic dancer & singer Seble Girma, representing the varying regional costumes & dances of Ethiopia. She is backed by Endalkachew 2Pac, one of the great Ethiopian traditional masinko players and singers.
This is a past event