Salambo discovering Ethiopia
Ethiopia is known internationally for its Ethio-jazz music, personnified by Mulatu Astatke, among others, a world class musician regularly playing on the international scene. He is also one of the artists featured in the Ethiopiques series, a modern compilation of Ethiopian jazz and traditional music recordings from the 1960s and 1970s.
So not surprisingly, music is high on the agenda in Addis, and a night in a jazz club is a regular outing here. The city’s favourite, which has become an institution is Jazzamba, the jazz club of Hotel Taitu, in the Piazza area. The club has live performances practically every evening, and the true atmosphere of a jazz club reminiscent of the 1960s. Even its decor was left untouched since the haydays of jazz music. It is one of those places which feel really special.
Hotel Taitu itself is a city landmark. It was the first hotel to be built in Addis at the beginning of the 20th century, on the wish of Empress Taitu, the wife of Menelik II. She initially wanted the new capital in the Entoto hills, but they were too difficult to reach so Menelik settled down on the lower plateau where he built Addis Ababa, or the “new flower” in Amharic.
Today, the hotel is a little outdated in terms of facilities, but it has kept its turn of the century features and charm. It remains popular with visitors and residents of Addis alike, who go there for its relaxed atmosphere, central location and great view over the city. Being the special place it is, it also has its own little organic vegetable garden, just next to the terrace, as well as home-grown tea, which customers can purchase.
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