Ethiopian–Israeli singer Ester Rada’s cross-cultural sound blends classic soul with African influences of Fela funk and Éthiopiques cool jazz. Singing in English and Amharic, her irresistible voice carries echoes of Nina Simone and Ella Fitzgerald, while standing shoulder-to-shoulder with contemporary greats like Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu.
Ester Rada was raised in a religious family in one of the roughest neighborhoods in Israel. Her parents were among a group of 80,000 Ethiopians (known as the "Beta Israel" community or "Falashas") who were evacuated during a famine in 1984 by the Israeli government as part of Operation Moses, a year before Ester was born. She spent her army service singing in a military band, then forged an amazing hybrid out of Afropop and the contemporary music then popular in Tel Aviv’s ultra-hip clubs. Ester released her debut EP in 2013 and became an overnight sensation, touring all over the world and opening for Alicia Keys in Israel. Often called a retro-soul singer in the manner of Janelle Monae, her velvet voice combines torch jazz, funk, soul and R&B with enough touches of Ethio-jazz to give her a unique and compelling sound.
"What’s the likelihood that an Ethiopian-born Israeli singer would have internalized old-school American soul, funk and jazz to the point where she could pass for a star in any of those styles? Ester Rada is exactly that."
– New York Music Daily
7:00 pm – Conversation w/ Ester Rada | 8:00 pm – Performance
Click below for more information and to purchase tickets.
Monday, April 25, 2016
Starts at: 7:00PM
3200 California Street