Preview: Hailu Mergia + Krar Collective @ EartH (London; Tuesday 2nd April 2019)

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Experience the dreamy sounds of Ethiopian legend Hailu Mergia in one of Hackney’s most impressive venues. From the 1970s to the present day, Mergia has become a master of his instrument and will be supported by fellow Ethiopian group, Krar Collective, for a celebration of Ethio-jazz.

After returning to popularity in recent years, Hailu Mergia has taken the world by storm. Awesome Tapes from Africa rerelease has been timed perfectly with a global interest in jazz and Ethio-jazz. Mergia has now released six different records since 2013 and has become an unstoppable force in the global music scene in the UK.

Hailu was part of band The Walias in the 70s and 80s, who became the first Ethiopian band to play in the US and lived in exile after refusing to return to a country under dictatorship. Mergia plays an accordion and keys, creating soft touch psychedelic sounds that roll from one song to the next.

He plays Hackney’s EartH, supported by fellow Ethio-jazz group, Krar Collective led by Temesgen Zeleke, a former student of Mulatu Astatke. The venue is an impressive theatre that gives itself to large shows but can sometimes miss out on sound quality due to the impressive high ceiling and hard floors.

Despite the not always impeccable acoustic, as a celebration of Ethiopian music, this will be a great show, and Hailu, more active than ever, will no doubt have some new tricks up his sleeve.

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