Hullageb Fest, celebrating Israeli-Ethiopian creativity, opens
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Out of Africa

Hullageb Fest, celebrating Israeli-Ethiopian creativity, opens

Israeli artists of Ethiopian descent are increasingly influencing the local cultural scene, says director Effi Benaya

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

Abatte Barihun will play as part of a trio for the final night of the Hullageb Festival, December 19-24, 2019 (Courtesy Nir Shaanani)
Abatte Barihun will play as part of a trio for the final night of the Hullageb Festival, December 19-24, 2019 (Courtesy Nir Shaanani)

The annual Hullageb Festival opens in Jerusalem on Thursday night, celebrating Israeli-Ethiopian creativity.

The five-day festival, December 19-24, opens with American-Ethiopian singer Abby Lakew, who will appear with Ethiopian singer Aregahegn Worash.

It’s ten years since Hullageb was first put together by Jerusalem’s Confederation House, and this year’s performing artists include more than a few returning performers, including spoken-word artist Orit Tashuma,  the Ethiopians in Israeli Song collective, the Hullageb Theater group, and the Ground Heights band.

The final performance for the festival will take place at Zappa club, with a jazz trio composed of pianist Omri Mor, saxophonist and singer Abatte Barihun and musician Shlomo Bar, who will perform works mining the roots of western Africa and Ethiopian jazz.

“In the last ten years, there’s been a significant growth in the number of artists from Ethiopia in the Israeli cultural scene,” said Effi Benaya, the director of the Confederation House. “They influence the artists’ conversation here, and are part of the mosaic of Israeli creation. The festival offers a window into that development.”

For tickets and more information, go to Bimot.

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