“Electrifying, kaleidoscopic vintage soul… his blistering vocal attack is beyond compare: hail one of the world’s most exhilarating new voices” – MAG
“Beautiful soulful joyous music that isn’t afraid to groove. You can’t go wrong.” – Bob Baker Fish
Dereb Desalegn (aka Dereb the Ambassador) is well known on the streets of Addis Ababa as one of Ethiopia’s most respected singers.
Born in Ethiopia, Dereb grew up amongst a family of musicians, completely immersed in his home country’s rich melange of sounds, rhythms and musical styles. Dereb’s extraordinary vocal talent was recognised early on, with his first performances at the age of 4. With parent mentors by his side he went from strength to strength, adding a Masenqo, the single-stringed Ethiopian spike fiddle, to his repertoire by the age of 10. By his teens he was drawing crowds in the bars of Addis Ababa and around Ethiopia.
In 2003 Dereb recorded his first solo album ‘Korkorow Yalew’ from which the hit single ‘Wollo’, reached number one on the Ethiopian charts. Dereb has since toured in America, England, Asia, New Zealand and Australia where he currently resides.
On arriving in Sydney, Dereb collaborated with producer Tony Buchen, to put together his latest project, assuming the moniker Dereb the Ambassador, after a title given to him years earlier by the Ethiopian media.
The first album under this new title, released in 2011, was recorded using pre-1970’s recording equipment, and is influenced by the warm, funky sounds of great Ethiopian artists from of the 60’s and 70’s such as Mulatu Astatke and Mahmoud Ahmed, who have gained a resurgence of interest through the ‘Ethiopiques’ series and Jim Jarmouche’s film ‘Broken Flowers’.
Having recently returned from a tour of Ethiopia, Dereb and his 8 piece band continue to develop new material and satisfying crowds with their gritty, addictive brand of Ethio-soul.
Members of the band are as follows:
Dereb Desalegn – Vocals
Peter Farrar – C Melody Saxophone and alto saxophone
Daniel Pliner – Keyboard
Jonathan Pease – Guitar
Jarrol Renaud – Bass
Ross Ferraro – Drums