Live Music in Addis Ababa

Thanks to John Grinling for this latest updated overview of the music scene in Addis Ababa:


  Sheraton Other locations
Sunday   Gebeta 16h : Zagol Band – after Yod Abyssinia

M.K. Restaurant 20 – 23h : Various groups Stockholm Elegance 22h : Michael Belayneh with Zemen Band

Flirt 22h : Live music

Monday   Baritone 22h  : Jam Session with Nubian Ark

Stockholm Elegance 22h : Shewandagn Hailu with Asiyo Band

Tuesday . Afro-Beat 21h : Alemayu + Kuku

Lyonaise 20h : Eshee Havana

Flirt 22h : Zagol Band

Wednesday 20h30 : Tigi’s Band Stockholm Elegance 22h : Jazz Night

Variety (V) Lounge 22h : Kuku Sebsebe

Thursday 20h30 : Zagol Band Jupiter 19-21h30 : Jazz Night with Bibisha and Cie

Monarch Hotel 18h-21h : Jazz

Variety (V) Lounge 22h : Dawit Tsiye

Avenue Lounge (Kasantchis, near Radisson Blue Hotel), 23h : Shewandagn with Zemen Band

Friday 20h30 : Zemen Band Monarch Hotel 18h : Acoustic Band

Fendika Club 22h : Live Jazz

Variety (V) Lounge 22h :

Avenue Lounge 23h : Zagol Band

Saturday 21h30 : Zagol Band


Celeste Hotel  22h : Imperial Majestic Band with Sydney Salmon (Reggae) – Off Bole Rd – Shoa market

Variety (V) Lounge 22h : Abenet Girma

Flirt 22h : Live music


Some comments about these venues

Office bar at the Sheraton Hotel : Very reliable concerts starting at 20h30 until 23h, with a break of 20 minutes at 21h30. Saturday’s performance starts one hour later, at 21h30. Both Zemen and Zagol band are excellent, but the large and sophisticated public on Thursdays unfortunately doesn’t come for the music but for mundanities. The general mood is better on the other nights, especially on Saturday’s with Zagol Band.

Variety Lounge on Guinea Conakry str., some hundred meters on the right down from the Intercontinental Hotel, is a new venue that proposes excellent modern Ethiopian music from Wednesday to Saturday, starting around 22h.

Stockholm Elegance is a fine club located on Cameroun str, 100 m. on the right after Edna Mall going down the road. Very lively performances by several of the best bands playing in Addis on Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays starting around 22h.

Flirt is another classy venue opposite the Beer Garden, on the road crowded with 4 stars hotels off Edna Mall. Great music starting around 22h on Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

The Baritone, just opposite Stokholm Elegance (see above) hosts the famous Monday’s Jam Session attended by a large audience and many talented musicians. Starts around 21h30.

Salsa aficionados can hear the brilliant Eshee Havana and his band on Tuesdays, starting early at 20h, in the garden of La Lyonnaise, some 400 m behind Shegger House, off Cameroun str.

Reggae fans can hear the famed Imperial Majestic Band on Saturday’s after 21h at the difficult to find Celeste Hotel supposedly signposted on a road branching right at the Shoa supermarket off Bole road.

MK Restaurant, opposite Shegger House on Cameroun str., stages fine live music on Sundays from 20h on.

For a late Sunday afternoon entertainment, try the Gebeta Restaurant low on Cameroun str., after Medhane Alem Cathedral.

Afrobeat is also in the Edna Mall area, but on Djibouti str., going towards the north.

Fendika Club is a known Azmari Beit in Kasantchis that organizes a well-attended Jazz concert on Fridays

Last but not least, two settings propose wonderful recreation every night in a slightly grubbier environment: the Piano Bar on Bole rd., just beside Novis Supermarket, offers very catchy live music, with dancing girls from time to time. As well as the famous Azmari Beit named Messafint’s cabaret to be found also behind the Shoa supermarket off Bole road specializes in more traditional and buoyant show.


One thought on “Live Music in Addis Ababa

  1. dylan bernstein says:

    This information is amazing. A lot of my travels involve hunting for jazz. To discover such knowledge and compassionate concern for guidance is actually nothing short of a godsend. May the music long live on and continue to shed the light. I haven’t bought a guide book in years, just decided to come to Ethiopia last week, bought your guide and book — you updated the very night I arrive. Made it to see Nubian Ark last night and was very impressed with their polish. Hoping to catch as many acts as I can. Highly appreciated!

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