Announcing “Citizen Azmari” from Ilana Webster-Kogen

An examination of popular Ethiopian music styles in Tel Aviv

“Weaving together ethnographic and theoretical narratives, the author gives voice to her subjects and to their music creators and territories where sound and silence speak—often more loudly than words.”
— Dr. Denis-Constant Martin, Centre Les Afriques dans le monde (LAM), Sciences-Po Bordeaux, France

In the thirty years since their immigration from Ethiopia to the State of Israel, Ethiopian-Israelis have put music at the center of communal and public life, using it simultaneously as a mechanism of protest and as appeal for integration. Ethiopian music develops in quiet corners of urban Israel as the most prominent advocate for equality, and the Israeli-born generation is creating new musical styles that negotiate the terms of blackness outside of Africa. For the first time, this book examines in detail those new genres of Ethiopian-Israeli music, including Ethiopian-Israeli hip-hop, Ethio-soul performed across Europe, and eskesta dance projects at the center of national festivals. This book argues that in a climate where Ethiopian-Israelis fight for recognition of their contribution to society, musical style often takes the place of political speech, and musicians take on outsize roles as cultural critics. From their perch in Tel Aviv, Ethiopian-Israeli musicians use musical style to critique a social hierarchy that affects life for everyone in Israel/ Palestine.

Ilana Webster-Kogen is the Joe Loss Lecturer (assistant professor) in Jewish Music at SOAS, University of London. Her work has appeared in Ethnomusicology Forum, African and Black Diaspora, and the Journal of African Cultural Studies.



248 pp., 12 illus., 2 tables, 6 x 9”

Unjacketed Cloth, $80.00



Paper, $26.95



Ebook, $21.99