Ethiopian keyboardist, army accordionist and synth pioneer Hailu Mergia is set to hit the road with a series of performances in Europe. He will stage performances in the Netherlands and Belgium before he makes a stop at the Stockholm Jazz Festival in Sweden on 10 October. He will then proceed to the UK, France, Germany and Switzerland for more performances.
Hailu Mergia was among Ethiopia's leading artists of the 1970s. He spent three decades carving out a national reputation both as solo artist and as member of groups like the Addis Ababa funk outfit, the Walias Band.
In 2013, Mergia, who has lived in America, made a comeback at a pub in Brooklyn after a 22-year musical hiatus.
Although his musical career slowed down with Mergia ending up driving a taxi in Washington DC where he lives, Mergia's music has invited interest over the years. In June 2016, for example, Awesome Tapes From Africa re-issued his third album, Wede Harer Guzo.
For many years this album was considered lost—until an accidental discovery of the last original cassette allowed its re-release this year. The album includes two of Mergia’s own compositions: ‘Sintayehu’ and ‘Minlbelesh’.
The full dates of Mergia's Europe tour are as below:
- 8 October: Utrecht Rasa, Netherlands
- 9 October: Antwerpen Het Bos, Belgium
- 10 October: Stockholm Jazz Festival, Sweden
- 11 October: London Café OTO, UK
- 13 October: Montreuil Instants Chavires, France
- 14 October: St. Gallen Palace, Switzerland
- 15 October: Graz Steirischer Herbst, Austria
- 16 October: Berlin Silent Green, Germany
- 20 October: Malmö Inkonst, Sweden
- 21 October: Köln Stadtgarten - Night of Surprise, Germany
For more information visit Hailu Mergia's Facebook Page