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Samuel Yirga


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Samuel Yirga knows a thing or two about determination and overcoming obstacles. As a child and teenager growing up in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, all he dreamt about was becoming a musician. His parents were strictly against this and wanted him to study to become a doctor or engineer. When they forbade him to attend music school auditions his sister luckily helped him to sneak out. Aged 16 at the time, Samuel stepped into Addis Ababa’s Yared School of Music for his auditions never having actually touched a musical instrument in his life. He managed to pass his entry exam regardless - with a coin tapping out rhythms on the top of a piano! Once he was admitted he picked the piano as his instrument to study - but the head of department took one look at his hands and said it wasn’t possible. “She said my hands were too small,” Samuel explains. But he persevered; he was determined that he was going to be the best pianist in Ethiopia.

Despite still being in his 20s and only having left music school relatively recently, Samuel has developed at a pace, both as a player and a composer, remarkable for someone of his age. He has gone on to become one of Ethiopia’s most promising young musicians and in recent years, Samuel has gained wider international recognition through his touring and recording with Ethio-fusion group Dub Colossus.


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  • keeletu


    30 Sep 2013 Reply
  • Ali-Red

    great african jazz

    4 Mar 2013 Reply
  • ulinvodnaar

    Everything about this dude is amazing

    12 Dec 2012 Reply
  • roseelle

    sooo good. xo

    16 Nov 2012 Reply
  • LikeACarillon

    Really like the bonus track "African Diaspora". Nicolette's vocals are so lush.

    26 Sep 2012 Reply
  • Drakemirow

    Guzo is such a gem.

    20 Aug 2012 Reply
  • XBujinKoenX

    Thank you DJ Lefto cuz otherwise I would not have known this, same goes for Ebo Taylor, Onra, Unity and Mulatu Astatke, new doors have opened. A Straight edge Punk Rocker thanking DJ Lefto I guess diversity truely IS wealth.

    2 Aug 2012 Reply
  • StoneFree82

    "Guzo" = excellent stuff. Absolutely brilliant.

    27 Jul 2012 Reply

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