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© Georg Cizek-Graf

Samuel Yirga

Samuel Yirga is a young representative of the Ethiojazz scene. He improvises on the piano based on Ethiopian sound patterns. His extraordinary musical career is reflected in his soundscapes, which repeatedly reveal his origins. He combines various jazz styles with well-known pop songs from the golden age of Ethiopian music, traditional rhythms and instruments with allusions to classical music. Yirga thus opened a whole new window on a musical genre and a region that has great appeal for many people around the world.
As part of his Austrian tour in September and October 2023, organized by kulturen in bewegung (Horst Watzl), Samuel Yirga and his six-piece band performed at 8 venues in Austria.

Yirga, who is signed to Peter Gabriel's Real World Records and is best known for his work with the fusion collective Dub Colossus, grew up in the capital Addis Ababa, the center of the intoxicating music known as Ethio-Jazz. Ethio-jazz is a mixture of jazz and traditional Ethiopian music. This special combination has opened doors to festivals worldwide for the versatile musician. His collaborations are just as diverse: from Susheela Raman, the German pop stars Clueso and Max Herre, to rapper Megalo. Yirga has long been an integral part of the music scene in Addis Ababa. He is regarded as a rising star in the Ethiopian music scene.

Samuel Yirga was previously with Culture X Change #Ethiopia: Samuel Yirga & chuffDRONE 2019 in Austria.