By Chris Richards |

When Mahmoud Ahmed opens his mouth to sing, his voice trembles. This isn’t some stylish affectation and it certainly isn’t stage fright. That lovely wobble you’re hearing is one of Ethiopia’s brightest and longest-burning stars attempting to wrangle an entire spectrum of human emotion into his vowels. It’s the sound of a national hero who, at 74, still sounds as stately as he does emotive.

On Friday, Ahmed will ring in the Ethiopian New Year at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium. It’s a large but relatively cozy venue for the singer, especially considering that the District boasts the largest Ethiopian population outside of Ahmed’s native Addis Ababa.

If you’re lucky enough to score a seat, you’ll have rare proximity to a remarkable voice. So listen close. But don’t forget to dance.

With Tineshu Tilahun on Friday at Lisner Auditorium. Show starts at 8 p.m. 202-994-6800. lisner.gwu.edu. $35, $29.75 for GW students.

Chris Richards has been the Post’s pop music critic since 2009. He’s recently written about the bliss of summer songs, the woe of festival fatigue and a guide on how to KonMari your record collection.

Source: The Washington Post
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