Tue. Jan 31st, 2023
Ali Birra

ETHIOPIANS TODAY, ADDIS ABABA (FINFINNEE), ETHIOPIA:

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Legendary Ethiopian Artist Ali Birra Passed Away

Ali Birra

Dr. Ali Birra, Ethiopian Artist best known for his Legendary Afaan Oromoo songs, was undergoing treatment at Adama General Hospital since a few weeks and passed away today. The news is a great pain for Ethiopians especially for Oromo people.

The famous Doctor Ali Birra has passed away. “Ali Mohamed Birra, the most celebrated musician who sang about love and past memories, since his early years in Afaan Oromoo, that touched our minds, passed away earlier today in Adama Hospital. Born in Dire Dawa City in 1950, Ali Mohammed Musa began his music career at the age of 13, joining Afran Qallo band.

He went on to get his stage name ‘Ali Birra’ meaning ‘Ali the spring’ in Afaan Oromoo – through the singing of the ’Birra dha Barihe’ song. Ali produced his first album in 1971, the first in the history of Oromo music, according to MusicInAfrica.

He then recorded successful hits such as ‘Hin Yaadin,’ ‘Asabalee,’ ‘Ammalelee,’ and ‘Gamachu.’ His albums included Sudanese songs such as ‘Al-Habib Ween’ and Harari songs such as ‘Yidenqal.’ Speaking about his musical philosophy to travel book Culture Trip in 2016, he said: “I believe in small incremental changes to my music while staying faithful to its origins”. “I have tried to use new technological means while respecting the past,” he added. Ali said his music study in the US has enabled him “to better analyse music and its scales”. “At the same time I can play many different instruments,” the artist said. “Many new musicians today are only vocalists or they can only play one instrument.”

Ali Mohammed Birra, better known as Ali Birra, is an Oromo musician whose music career has spanned decades. Ali has an honorary doctorate, conferred him by the Jimma University in 2010 for his contribution to Ethiopian music.

Rest in Peace our father of unity!

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