ABATTE BARIHUN

Abatte Barihun, one of the greatest Ethiopian musicians.

A saxophone genius who is also known as the "John Coltrane" of Ethiopia.

 

Abatte Barihun has an incredible story, enduring many challenges and adventures throughout his life.

Barihun studied at a music school in Addis Ababa, then joined the Ethiopian military band, led a successful jazz band and collaborated with Ethiopia’s greatest vocalist, Mahmoud Ahmed. All of this was achieved before the age of 30.

In 1999, Barihun followed his family and moved to the land of Israel, where the majority of Israel's Ethiopian community suffered greatly. It was very hard for Abatte to find his place. It took many years before he finally was able to break into the music industry. He came from the highest level of the music scene in Ethiopia to a new country where no one even knew his name. He worked as a dish washer at a restaurant, and while doing so - severely injured his hand and almost had to permanently give up his passion - saxophone.

After those hard years,  a few local musicians who knew his name grabbed him back to the limelight and he found himself once more on stage. Today he is working on many new musical projects, and is rightfully considered one of the top jazz musicians in Israel.