As the Ethiopian pianist Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou approached the age of 100, fans and music critics from the US to Ethiopia, Israel to Europe have been eagerly rediscovering her work. But the Addis Ababa-born pianist, who has died at the age of 99, has been a source of fascination to connoisseurs. Especially after a disc in the iconic Ethiopiques series (issued by Buda Musique) was dedicated to her work in 2006.
The classically trained musician was associated with the jazz genre and spent her life in a convent. She will remain in death as much as in life a figure of beautiful contradictions. Her legacy as a female instrumentalist, a religious composer of secular music and an ascetic who created work of astounding beauty requires of fans to listen for nuance.
*The views of the above article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Africa Speaks 4 Africa or its editorial team.