AIT Records proudly presents the celebrated Ethiopian musician and arranger, Abiyou Solomon, and his latest CD, In Search of My Roots. This one-of-a-kind recording truly captures the soul and spirit of eight distinct Ethiopian tribes. The traditional songs and harmonized sounds demonstrate the beauty and diversity of the Ethiopian people, comprised of many tribes that have lived in peace and harmony for thousands of years. In Search of My Roots is Volume 1 in a series of CDs showcasing unique tribal songs from throughout Ethiopia. Enjoy!
Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Abiyou Solomon began his love affair with the guitar when he watched his older brother tinker with the instrument around the house. At age 14, his brother bought him his first acoustic guitar and, soon after, he started playing at St. Francesco Theology College. While in high school he joined the Medhane Alem school band and, in his senior year, he played with the Alazarist Mission school band.
It was Genene Nebebe who recruited Abiyou to join the Genet Hotel Band. He next joined the Zambezi Club band and after a short period with them, he joined the Hotel D’Afrique band, led by Genene. He later joined the second incarnation of the Dahlak Band. In 1982, he joined the Hager Fikir Theatre Band and it was then that he first fell truly in love with the varied cultural music of Ethiopia. Also during this period, Abiyou had the pleasure to play with Abebe Kassa (alto saxophone) and Negusse Assefa (tenor saxophone). He would be reunited with Negusse when they formed the Abyssinia Band.
During his stint at the Hager Fikir Theatre, famed Ethiopian producer and arranger, Abegasu Shiota, persuaded Abiyou to switch to the bass guitar and he was soon asked to join the Ethio Stars band as a bass player, a post he eventually left to become a studio musician/arranger. In this role, he was involved in the production of 150+ recordings, working with a multitude of famous traditional and contemporary musicians, including Bahru Kegne, Yirga Dubale, Assnaketch Werku, Lemma Gebrehiwot, Abebe Tessema, Theodros Tadesse, Tsegaye Eshetu, Teshome Assegid, Kuku Sebsibe, Wubshet Fisseha, Martha Ashagari, Setegn Atanaw and many more.
In 1991, Abiyou joined the Abyssinia Band as a bassist. Their first gig was on the 1991 Ethiopian New Year. The following year, the band recorded five tracks for a Swedish compilation CD, Music from Ethiopia. The CD’s success in Sweden led to a tour of country, along with a performance at Etnosoi in Finland. Abiyou Solomon and The Abyssinia Band were also featured in the book, Rough Guide to World Music Volume One: Africa, Europe & the Middle East.
After the Abyssinia Band disbanded, Abiyou returned to being a session bassist until he moved to the United States in 1995, when he became a sought-after tour bassist. In that capacity, he has backed Mahmoud Ahmed, Aster Aweke, Theodros Tadesse, Hamelmal Abate, Tsehaye Yohannes, Neway Debebe and countless others. Apart from this album, Abiyou has released an Ethiopian Instrumental CD titled Abiy, and he produced and arranged Maritu Legesse’s Yebati Nigest. Currently, Abiyou resides in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and is reforming the Abyssinia band.