Ethiopia's Hailu Mergia announces dates for Europe tour

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.

Ethiopian keyboardist Hailu Mergia. Photo: www.nytimes.com
Ethiopian keyboardist Hailu Mergia. Photo: www.nytimes.com

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

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