||Roha Band: Tour 1990 CD (1996) |
When the Ibex Band disbanded in 1979, three of its members - Selam Seyoum, Giovanni Rico and Fekadu Amdemeskel - joined with Dawit Yifru, keyboard player for the also recently disbanded Dahlak Band, to form the now-legendary Roha Band. Specializing in modern Ethiopian music with a traditional blend, the band's first contract was with the Addis Ababa Hilton, where they performed together six days a week, perfecting their signature sound. The Roha Band traveled extensively, in Ethiopia and abroad, and performed on Ethiopian television. They made over 250 recordings with a multitude of celebrated Ethiopian singers, including Aster Aweke, Tilahun Gessesse, Mahmoud Ahmed, Muluken Mellesse, Theodros Tadesse, Hamelmal Abate and Neway Debebe. Although the band broke up in 1994, with the members pursuing individual interests, no other Ethiopian group has matched the number or quality of their recordings.
Composed of veteran Ethiopian instrumentalists who cut their teeth in such noted outfits as the Ibex Band and the Dahlak Band, the Roha Band perform a brand of Ethiopian popular music that will be instantly recognizable to fans of Buda Musique's critically acclaimed ETHIOPIQUES series. On TOUR 1990 the Roha Band update the sinuous melodies and complex arrangements of classic Ethiopian forms like Tigrigna and Tezeta with contemporary instrumentation and production techniques.
Roha Band: Neway Debebe, Hamelmal Abate, Berhane Haile (vocals); Selam Syoum (guitar); Yonas Degefe, Yared Tefera (saxophone); Dawit Yifru (keyboards); Giovanni Rico Bonsignori (bass guitar); Ashenafi Awel (drums).