Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Dance until the sun comes up with Ethiopian youngsters on Bole Road, catch some live Ethio-jazz in the Piazza or sit around drinking Obama Draft beer in Kazanchis.

Fendika Zewditu St., Kazanchis?:

Easily the best place for those after a glimpse of traditional Ethiopian culture. Pack yourself into the intimate, one-of-a-kind azmari-bet, where you might have to duck to avoid a dancer’s flailing foot. The show starts around 9pm when an azmari (poet-musician) weaves his way around the club, strumming his one-string masinqo. The star of the show is undoubtedly world-famous dancer Melaku Belay. Bursts at the seams every other Friday when local favourite Ethiocolor play. Arrive early, 10 birr ($0.50).?? +251 (0)911 547 577??. 

Jazzamba Lounge ?@ Taitu Hotel, Mundy St., Piazza?: Meaning ‘jazz fortress’ in Amharic, Jazzamba opened in June and has a huge capacity with decor straight out of the 1930s. Visitors with only one night in Addis would be smart to spend it here as a host of local artists perform and the atmosphere is experimental. Local promoters love Jazzamba because it is a melting pot of the city’s best talent, with Addis Acoustic and Ethiocolor both playing regularly. Serves decent western food from 60-90 birr. Cover charge depends on the concert.? www.jazzamba.net?? 

Club Alize Ring Road, ?Opposite Bole Airport:

Perfect for soaking up laid-back Ethio-jazz grooves. Packed on Thursday nights when citywide sensation Addis Acoustic performs an acoustic set featuring clarinet, accordion, guitar and mandolin accompanied by traditional drumming. It is also worth watching Express Band playing 1960s and 1970s Motown soul. Good choice for Saturday night entertainment as it is open late. Well worth the 25 birr cover charge. ?? +251 (0)911 862 911?? 

Guramayle Namibia St. opposite SOS Kinderdorf International:

Come here on Monday nights to watch saxophonist Olaf Boelsen and the Jazzmaris put on well-chosen Ethio-jazz covers as well as some fresh cuts of their own. DJ Mitmitta supports most weeks. Excellent outdoor garden area and free entry. Owner and manger Yahu is the life of the party.? ? +251 (0)911 210 757?? 

Wube Bereha ?@ Edna Mall, Namibia St. ?opposite Medhane Alem Cathedral:

Tthose looking for rastas to party with will get a kick out of the live music at this club, which is popular with reggae fans and local university students. It’s convenient for movie goers as a cinema is upstairs. Drinks are expensive, but on the weekend it’s good fun and there is lots of space to sit down and talk with new friends. A great insight into middle-class Addis and a favourite of Shegger FM radio host Berhanu Digaffe. Cover charge 30 birr. ? info@ednamall.net

Source: The African Report Magazine

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