Aster Aweke

Aster Aweke

Aster Aweke (Amharic: አስቴር አወቀ?, ʾAster ʾAwäḳä) is an Ethiopian singer who lives in the United States.

Personal life

Aster was born in 1959 in Gondar, Ethiopia, and was raised in the capital city of Addis Ababa. Her father was a senior civil servant in the Imperial government.

Musical career

By the age of 13, Aster was determined to become a musician, and began her career at Hager Fikir Theatre in Addis Ababa.

Starting in her late teens, she was singing in clubs and hotels in the capital with bands such as the Continental Band, Hotel D'Afrique Band, Shebele Band and the Ibex Band, before they became the internationally known Roha Band.

Aster's distinct style has been influenced by other Ethiopian singers, such as Bizunesh Bekele.

Launching a solo career, she was encouraged by musical entrepreneur Ali Tango, who financed and released five cassettes and two singles of her music. By 1981, Aster had become disillusioned by Ethiopia's oppressive political climate following the death of Haile Selassie, and relocated to the United States. Temporarily settling in the Bay Area of California, with plans to pursue higher education within a period of two years, she settled in Washington, D.C., where one of the largest Ethiopian expat communities in the country existed. There, she became increasingly popular within the Ethiopian community, performing in restaurants and clubs.

Aster also remains popular in Ethiopia. In 1997, she performed in Addis Ababa for a crowd of over 50,000 people. In 2003, Aster also performed a two-part concert series to raise funds for relief and school initiatives in Ethiopia. The first concert was held in November on Eid Al-Fitr day at the Addis Ababa Stadium, with an audience of 40,000 in attendance. The second performance was a gala-dinner at the Sheraton Hotel. More recently, on May 9, 2009, Aster performed in front of a crowd of 10,000 spectators during the Peace Through Unity, Unity Through Music concert held in the capital's Millennium Hall, alongside other Ethiopian music artists.

Discography

  •     Ethiopian Groove - The Golden Seventies, Paris, 1994, Buda Musique (contains three of her very first recordings)
  •     1989 Aster (Columbia/CBS Records)
  •     1991 Kabu (Columbia/SME Records)
  •     1993 Ebo (Barkhanns)
  •     1997 Live in London (Barkhanns)
  •     1999 Hagere (Kabu Records)
  •     2002 Sugar (Kabu Records)
  •     2004 Asters Ballads (Kabu Records)
  •     2006 Fikir (Kabu Records)
  •     2010 Checheho (Kabu Records)

 

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Aster Aweke

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