Seleshe Demessae (Ethiopia)

Seleshe Damessae (also known as Sileshi Demissie and Gash Abera Molla) is a multi-talented singer and musician from Ethiopia. He uses a complex vocal styling, sung in Amharic, his native language. He accompanies himself on the krar, a sixstring lyre which dates back to the ancient civilizations of the Nile.

Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Seleshe began studying the krar at an early age with his father, and later attended the Yared School of Music. He spent nearly four years studying traditional Ethiopian culture in northern rural areas, and today is highly respected for his knowledge of the vocal and instrumental music of his native land. 

He is also a skilled instrument maker who builds and plays a variety of folk instruments such as krars, fiddles, harps and drums. He has performed throughout the United States, Europe and Africa. He founded the Gashe Abera Molla Association upon returning to Addis Ababa after 20 years as a successful singer in the United States, and decided to address the social and environmental problems that plagued his home city. He set up a new organisation and named it after a character in his songs, Gashe Abera, the old man who takes care of his local community.

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