Elias Negash Bio'
Elias' musical journey extends many decades that have taken him across many lands. Inspired by his mother who was also a pianist, Elias formed his first group in the 1960's. Elias has had an eclectic musical background where he has combined his native Ethiopian music, with his Jazz education, and other influences from the world music segment. He played through the seventies and became one of the pioneering figures to have brought Reggae and African music to the bay area with the smash hit group Obeah, Axum, and The Rastafarians. It wasn't long before he started to work and perform with international stars including Dennis Brown, Linda Ronstadt, Steele Pulse, and Third World. He later made his television music debut with Murder She Wrote and Natalie Cole's Big Break productions. Elias was also the composer for the Soundtrack of the show Glitz starring Jimmy Smith and Markey Post with the Magyk band. In addition to the extensive collaborative work with many musicians, Elias has traveled the globe playing for thousands of people on cruise ships and large stadiums alike. His music has inspired listeners from across the United States, Europe, Africa and Asia.
Elias' first instrumental CD entitled "Fikir" (Love) can be found in the collection of every Ethiopian music lover. Elias took classical love songs and applied Jazz and Reggae sounds to create a contemporary fusion. He followed that extraordinary work by extending to the World Music category by releasing "Harrambe" (Let's Pull Together). Harrambe symbolized the trajectory that Elias had taken in his musical journey evidenced by the title song which is influenced by his experience in Kenya, his formal training in Jazz Improvisation, and his penchant for combining American Jazz with African Melodies. Critics have raved about his ability to retain the melodic integrity of Ethiopian music and add contemporary arrangements to create new sounds.
His latest CD Peace is regarded as his best work to date because he incorporates the many musical forms that he has developed over the years, including his Ethiopian roots to join the discourse on Peace through his musical domain. Peace is a topic that is near and dear to his heart and is in line with the themes of his previous work that have encouraged unity through love. Elias wants to share his firm belief that solutions to world struggles can be devised with peace as the instrument that people can bring to bear on the majority of issues that plague human kind. Elias concludes the vibrant CD that encourages people to unite, and join forces in friendship and harmony through the calming piano solo classical rendition of the Ethiopian song "Peace."