Gigs, dance, art

July 15th, 2007: Mahmoud Ahmed

Another free outdoors gig, this time with some real summer weather: sunny and in the high eighties, fitting for an Ethiopian singer. And not any singer: the great Mahmoud Ahmed. What a voice! I first heard him on WFMU, as usual. He’s also featured in the great Ethiopiques record series, amazing records that document the greatness of Ethiopian music.

His band featured drums, bass, guitar, keyboards and two saxophones, and they played for about one hour before coming back for fifteen minutes. The man hasn’t lost a thing as far as I’m concerned: one of the greatest voices I heard, and seeing him live was a total treat. Even though the crowd was mostly white and sprawled in whatever shade was available, he had most people dancing in the sun by the third song. Mahmoud Ahmed is a great performer who knows how to work a crowd, and this was a very rewarding experience.

Again, what a voice! He’s probably my favorite Ethiopian singer, his power and range are still great, and he really sums up all that I love about this kind of music. I can only dream of what it would be like to see him sharing a stage with Getatchew Mekuria.

These people are not youngsters, the passing of Mohammed Jimmy Mohammed a few months after I saw him last year underscores how such appearances are must-see events.


July 15, 2007 - Posted by | Music | ,

1 Comment »

  1. Nice article.

    Have you seen the recent publicity for the new ‘Very Best of the Ethiopiques’ 2CD? There is also a fansite to celebrate the launch at:

    There’s tons more stuff there on all the Ethiopiques artists.


    Comment by Tim | August 30, 2007 | Reply

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