Named « The Honky Tonk Nun » , Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam is an Ethiopian nun known for her piano playing and compositions
Her life is like no other, it’s a woman whose choices were determined by religious self-exile, maverick gender struggles and Ethiopia’s dramatic 20th-century political history – and who became a singular artist in the landscape.
Her poised, bluesy, freewheeling waltzes together with the Ethio-jazz that emerged out of Addis Ababa in the 1960s and although she smiles and insists she’s not a jazz artist.
Her training is purely western classical, her inspiration comes from the ancient modal chants of the Orthodox church. It’s a unique fusion and it sounds like nothing else.
Emahoy is now 96 years old. Late years, she has been recognized by many music critics around the world and there has been a growing interest in her life and her music.
Today her Foundation, which owns all her music rights, is helping children’s education with music camps and music scholarships in Israel, Ethiopia and the USA.