(Awesome Tapes From Africa, Washington)
Many times we enjoyed telling this amazing story: It is about the triumphant return to the music biz of one of Ethiopia's leading performers - an instrumentalist who was forced into exile by a dictatorial regime hostile to the arts and ended up driving cabs for almost 30 years.
After the blogger, DJ and label owner Brian Shimkovitz had tracked down Mergia in DC, he released three fantastic reissues of the keyboardist's older materials. The maestro started to perform publicly again late in 2013 with sold out venues and amazed fans over three continents. Awesome Tapes From Africa, Shimokivitz' imprint, released "Lala Belu", Mergia's long-expected comeback album of all new music early in 2018 with the maestro playing more than 40 shows all across Europe.
In concert, Hailu is being backed by America's leading Ethiopian bassist Alem Kebede and the longtime drummer of reggae legends Culture, Ken Joseph.
on tour in August & September 2019
08.08. ES A Coruña Festival Noroeste
09.08. SE Unnaryd Into the Woods Sweden
11.08. NL Venlo Zomerparkfeest
15.08. IE Dublin The Sugar Club
16.08. UK Cambridgeshire We Out Here
17.08. PT Crato Waking Life
21.09. CH Zürich Moods
22.09. DE Augsburg Grandhotel Cosmopolis
23.09. DE München Import Export
24.09. DE Berlin Gretchen
27.09. BE Bruxelles Flagey
28.09. FR Carcassonne Convenanza Festival
30.09. NO Oslo Kafe Hæverk
02.10. DE Göttingen Altes Rathaus
04.10. BE Antwerpen L'Afrique, c'est chique
06.10. ETH Addis Ababa Addis Jazz Festival