Our favorite Ethiopian Jazz keyboard player and accordionist, Hailu Mergia, has a new release out!
The album Wede Harer Guzo is not actually a new release but a re-release. It was recorded in the 1970s in Ethiopia and mostly forgotten about until now, thanks to Awesome Tapes from Africa who rereleased the album this June.
As Afropop Worldwide says of the album- “Wede Harer Guzo is distinctly Mergia but distinct from his other releases. It’s blues through and through, while being jazz, traditional Amharic folk music and soulful funk at the same time. The record is built of some of the coolest, smoothest vibrations I’ve heard out of Ethiopia, or indeed many parts of the world.” Read the entire review here.
Awesome Tapes from Africa’s Brian Shimkovitz discovered Hailu Mergia via an obscure cassette, tracked him down and has since helped revive Mergia’s musical career and since then, Mergia has been touring again, making a come back after decades driving a DC cab. We were lucky enough to have him perform at Seaside Sessions in January of this year with New Orleans Trumpet player Christian Scott. Most recently Hailu played with the Anbessa Orchestra at Pioneer Works in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Read Afropop’s review of the show here!
Hailu Mergia blew us away with his keyboard and accordion playing at Seaside Sessions this year! Check out more photos of his performance at here!