Yohannes Tona was born in Awassa, a vibrant city in Southern Ethiopia where he
acquired his early education as well as musical influences of Western Gospel, Reggae, Ethiopian traditional and popular sounds. He thought himself how to play the guitar by watching his parents choir rehears at his house. This led to his first performance opportunities mostly around the local churches and school.
In his early teens he was involved in an international evangelical crusade that came to his town as well as producing his mother’s album, opportunities that gave him a national recognition in the Ethiopian church scene.
Shortly after, he moved to the capital Addis where he would pursue musical education at Yared Music School as well as immersed him self in the reach music scene. This was later followed by a scholarship to his dream school, Berklee College of Music, in Boston. He spent nearly two productive years at Berklee before landing an opportunity to be a music director at Ethiopian Evangelical Church in St.Paul where he would settled and start a family.
Since the early 2000s, Yohannes has slowly build himself a name as a band leader and a sideman, performing along some legendary Minneapolis artists and international musicians. Such names include Dr. Mambo’s Combo, Nachito Herrera, Jef Lee Johnson, The Sounds of Blackness, The Steeles and many more. Yohannes’ current calendar includes tour with national acts such as Stokley, Cory Wong, Dave Koz, and the band, NorthStar to mention a few.
While being grateful for the incredible experience of playing big stages with such great
names, Yohannes believes he has the responsibility of sharing his original music with the world. Music that reflects his Ethiopian/ African roots and the American experience.