Gili Yalo, a Tel Aviv-based Ethiopian Jew, set for San Diego debut


Expect dancing in the aisles when Gili Yalo makes his area debut Wednesday night at the San Diego Center for Jewish Culture’s David & Dorothea Garfield Theatre in La Jolla.

His concert is part of a North American tour by Yalo, who was born in a village in the Gondar region of Ethiopia and immigrated with his family to Israel as a child.

As a member of the propulsive band Zvuloon Dub System, he has fused reggae and Ethiopian music, which draws from five major scales, all pentatonic.

As the leader of his own five-piece band, with which he’ll perform here, Yalo adds elements of funk, rock, jazz, soul, Afro-pop and psychedelia (by way of Ghana and Nigeria).

The former husband of Israeli-Ethiopian vocal star Ester Rada, Yalo sings in both Amharic and English. His current tour is in support of Yalo’s self-titled 2017 debut album on Dead Sea Recordings.

Gili Yalo: 8 p.m. Wednesday. David & Dorothea Garfield Theatre, San Diego Center for Jewish Culture, 4126 Executive Drive, La Jolla. $25 (members), $30 (non-members). (858) 362-1348.

Twitter @georgevarga