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World Heart Beat, 58 Kimber Rd, London SW18 4PP
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Samuel Yirga Piano Trio

Samuel Yirga is a true ambassador of Ethiopian Jazz, a graduate of the renowned Yared School of music. He has played for everyone from the former leader of the African Union, Kofi Annan, to Poland’s Lech Wałęsa. He was the keyboard player for the sensational Dub Colossus project that gave many great Ethiopian musicians international limelight. He came to prominence in his own right 10 years ago when Peter Gabriel’s Real World Records released his outstanding album ‘Guzo’. Since then Sammy has been a mainstay of the Addis Ababa jazz scene as a new generation inherit the mantle of Ethiojazz from those that created it; stars like Mulatu Astake and Getachew Mekuria.

The international musicians he has played with are highly influential and prominent; from British Indian singer Susheela Raman to the German pop star Clueso, hip hop stars Max Herre and Afrobeats rapper Megalo. Recently Sammy collaborated with Indian tabla master Ustad Zakir Hussain in a special concert dedicated to the memory of his father, the late great Ustad Alla Rakha.

Collaborations with artists in Ethiopia read like a who’s who of Ethiopian music including; Mahmoud Ahmed, Aster Aweke , Fasil Wuhib, Henok Temesgen, Samson Jaffar, Girma Beyene, Alemayehu Eshete, Zeritu Kebede, Dawit Melese, Eyob Mekonen, and many more.

Sammy is a truly adaptable musician, playing most weeks in Addis with his septet. For UK and European dates he trims down to a brilliant trio featuring Menelik Claffey (bass).

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