Gili Yalo Ethiopia/Israel
Gili Yalo is one of the most intriguing new artists in Israel’s world music scene. Combining his Ethiopian roots with soul, reggae, funk, psychedelia and jazz, his soulful voice has elicited comparisons to Bob Marley. Singing mostly original lyrics in multiple languages (Amharic, Hebrew, English), and backed by a 5-piece band of guitar, bass, keyboard, drums, and trumpet, Yalo’s concerts generate an entrancing groove, beat and flow. His music is interwoven with his inspiring personal story as a refugee from Ethiopia who escaped to Israel as a child as part of Operation Moses in 1984. This harrowing but ultimately triumphant journey, made with his family and so many other Ethiopian Jews, provides the emotional base for his soul-stirring music, which today brings new meaning to traditional Ethiopian music.