This is a selection of songs taken from an afternoon of solo piano recordings done at my Ah!Home!Studio! with Daniel Seifu, an Ethiopian pianist.
Having studied music at Yared Music School in Addis Ababa, Seifu has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the world of Ethiopian music, musicians & culture. Having met, befriended and heard Ethiopian greats such as Mulatu Astatke and Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam, Danny’s music has one foot firmly planted in the rich history of Ethiopian folk melodies, with the other in admiration of some of the great jazz pianists, both American & Ethiopian.
He was the Musical Coordinator and piano player for the National Theatre of Ethiopia, and spent much of his time in Addis Abbaba playing in piano bars and hotels. Speaking of the music scene in Ethiopia Danny’s eyes light up as he explains the love people have of music there –
‘Everyone is listening to the music,’ he says with wide eyes.
Having moved to Australia in 2007, he now lives in Melbourne and runs Dinknesh Ethiopian Restaurant in Footscray. He is kept extraordinarily busy with his young family, full time work, running his restaurant and, perhaps most importantly, playing music.
If you ever get the chance I suggest heading down to his restaurant to see him play on a Saturday or Sunday night from 8pm-11pm. You can walk up to him at the bar, order an African beer & Doro Wot and then take a seat. What follows is amazing. You will watch him place the order in the kitchen with his wife, Seble, who is also the restaurant’s chef. After he serves a round of food and drinks, he rushes to the keyboard in the corner of the room, plays a 15 minute set of Ethiopian piano, rushes back to the kitchen, grabs the food, brings it to your table, takes another round of drinks, serves them, and then rushes over to his piano for another set of music. Once the food orders begin to slow, his wife comes out in traditional dress, sings, dances and then heads back in to the kitchen – either to cook more meals or for a series of seemingly endless costume changes.