Gili Yalo is one of the most intriguing musicians in the music scene in Israel. Gili combines Ethiopian roots with Soul, Funk, Psychedelic and Jazz music. Gili Yalo incorporates sounds from traditional Ethiopian music into a contemporary music production. The result is an exceptional, rich, vivid melody accompanied by Gili’s unique voice with lyrics in both English and Amharic. The music made by Gili Yalo embodies his own personal story, which inspired the rhythm and flow of the whole project. And what a story he has to tell:
Operation Moses was the covert evacuation of Ethiopian Jews from Sudan during a famine in 1984. These Ethiopian Jews fled from their native land on foot to refugee camps in Sudan.
Together with his family, Gili Yalo made this perilous trip, walked through the desert towards the “Promised Land” and sang to his beloved ones. In the course of this exhausting and emotional journey, the music encouraged Gili and his family to keep on moving.
Gili Yalo’s band is made up of five musicians, including guitar, bass, keyboard, drums, and trumpet. An entrancing rhythmic motion is apparent when listening to Gili’s music, from the groove, beat and flow, and up to the lyrics, concept and style of the project. Today Gili Yalo's music gives a new meaning to traditional Ethiopian music. The expression of his story through an advanced music production represents his own personal triumph.
Gili's debut album received worldwide attention and high critical praise internationally. After the release Gili Yalo has been touring and performing on the some of the biggest stages and festivals around the world.
In 2019 Gili collaborated with Grammy Awards nominees “Niles City Sound” to create his exciting EP “Made in Amharica”. The songs are a collaboration between Gili and Dallas-based musicians in the high-end, vintage-equipped Niles City Sound recording studios in Fort Worth.
“The whole thing has a strut to its step. With Yalo singing in both Amharic and English, his band cook up a whole range of retro flavours, from golden-age Ethiopian horns and old-school synths to the classic R&B rhythm-section sound. It doesn’t turn into a heard-it-all-before fusion either … [listen] and you will feel like the coolest person alive. After Gili Yalo, of course.”
– Jim Hickson, Songlines Magazine
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING...
"In a very stressful and uncertain time, Gili Yalo was the perfect fit for our Rady JCC Tarbut: Festival of Jewish Culture. He opened the concert with chants and prayers in Amharic, sharing his personal story - then morphed into a high funk vibe. Everyone was on the dance floor - people of all ages and backgrounds- grooving to his irresistible Ethiopian beat and shaking off their stress. The band is super tight. Five stars. A truly wonderful concert."-
-Karla Berbrayer, Producer KAD Productions Winnipeg, Canada
“His performance was energetic and had the audience on their feet from the first song. He is not only a gifted singer but a natural performer and storyteller. His bandmates were all fantastic musicians. The evening ended with standing ovations from our patrons!”
–Therese LaGamma, A Public Programs Director, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
“Gili and band really brought it and the audience ate it up!”
- Michael D. Armintrout, Producer, West Lafayette Global Fest
“Gili and the band were great to work with and were smoking on stage. They brought awesome and beautiful energy and amazing talent to the festival!”
- Tom Frouge, Artistic Director of Globalquerque
“Great show! Really enjoyed having them and my audience loved them.”
- Alexandra Tager, Director of Cultural Affairs, Western New Mexico University
“It was such an incredibly fun show. Gili’s band was tight and wonderful!”
-Mary Brabec, Booking Director The Cedar Cultural Center
"Looking back on Sunday, it feels as if you and your extraordinary band blew in and out of Boulder like a bolt of lightning, delivering through the clouds and rain an electrifying jolt of Ethiopian/Israeli soul magic that will resonate for a long time!...Your set was truly awesome, you are a quintessential showman, radiating incredible love and joy through your movement, your voice and infectious grooves...We hope to see you back in Colorado before long!"
- Sheldon Sands, Boulder Jewish Festival
We presented Gili last year. I truly love him, his music, his charisma and charm."
-Pamela Lavitt, Stroum JCC