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The Sun of Eritrea “Tsehaytu”

1798421_10151900039513314_149099700_n“Memories of the Legends & Tunes of Eritrea”
QieNit TV Talk Show

The Sun of Eritrea

Tsehaytu Beraki is an absolutely legendary singer from Eritrea. Born in 1939 in Quatit, a small village, she soon picked up the Krar (5-string harp) and after moving to the capital Asmara she became a famous singer in bars, to attract men to the local traditional beer houses. Her courage and inspiration still mean a lot to all Eritreans – The songs are as authentic as possible, to western ears it is largely unknown music.
I found Tsehaytu by coincidence in Rotterdam, Holland, discouraged and not playing much anymore. I build her a new krar and after some practice sessions, we decided to record the CD together. There isn¹t really much Eritrean music recorded, from those days.

The songs are as authentic as possible, Tsehaytu playing all the instruments; the krar, kobero and bass-krar. To western ears it is largely unknown music.

These strange, beautiful rhythms and these moving, almost blues-like ballads. The 17 songs are from different periods of Tshehaytu¹s life. From the very first successes till brand new material, commenting on the latest. With many people involved, we worked for four years on the project, out of respect and love for Tsehaytu’s music and person. She deserves to be well documented and remain remembered as a great musician.

The double CD, with more than two and a half hours of music, also includes a book with an incredible interview about her life, culture and history. It also contains many old photos and the lyrics.

I wanted to make this wonderful music available to the western music lovers, but of course I realize it is the heritage of Eritrean culture and I know how important Tsehaytu was for the Eritrean people, both young and old.

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