Asnakech Worku was born in 1931, in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia. Since the times of Emperor Haile Selassie I, she has become a legend in Ethiopian music. Asnakech accompanies herself on the Krar, the small Ethiopian lyra. She bought her first instrument for 25 Cents when she was a child and learned how to play the instrument by watching the Azmari, the Ethiopian musicians that are sometimes compared with the minnesingers and troubadours of the European Middle Ages.
Asnakech began performing in small bars and cabarets. But before starting her career as a famous singer and musician, she first started to work as an actress and dancer at the City Hall Theatre in 1952 and later on in 1955 at the Haile Selassie I Theatre, where she started to sing and play the Krar beside her work as an actress. There she worked until her retirement in the late 80s.
At that time, Asnakech was the first actress in Ethiopia and the only famous woman beside Mary Armede who played the Krar. For many years she was recognized to be one of the greatest Krar players in Ethiopia. She became the most famous traditional female musician in her home country.
Today she is one of the very few artists that helped to develop the Ethiopian cultural scene and deeply influenced it. She is highly respected by the modern artists and the people of her home country.
Asnakech’s songs became a part of the rich repertoire of folk songs in Ethiopia. Hits like Ende Jerusalem are still sung by many Ethiopian artists. And there is something very special to report about Asnakech Worku: in the male dominated world of African master musicians, she is an unassailable authority.
Asnakech did numerous LP and Cassette recordings in Ethiopia. As well there is a CD that was recorded and released in Germany, in 1996, while she was touring Europe.
She has traveled throughout the entire world and performed in many different countries. Josephine Kronfli & Pit Budde, members of the Band “Karibuni” invited her several times to Germany and had the great opportunity to accompany her during her tours.
Since more than 5 years Asnakech Worku is suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. For this reason she is not able to perform anymore. As there is no health insurance in Ethiopia and the retirement payment is very low, the musicians of “Karibuni” would like to recommend you to order her wonderful CD. In buying her CD you will support Asnakech and last but not least you will get the opportunity to enjoy the music of one of the greatest artists in Ethiopia.
In buying her CD you will support Asnakech and last but not least you will get the opportunity to enjoy the music of one of the greatest artists in Ethiopia.