Hailu Mergia + Krar Collective


The keyboard and accordion virtuoso Hailu Mergia returns to London for his biggest show to date at EartH (Evolutionary Arts Hackney) after selling out the Jazz Cafe last autumn.

Arguably the greatest of Brian Shimkovitz’s A&R discoveries for his label Awesome Tapes From Africa, Hailu started out playing keys for iconic Ethiopian group Walias Band, whose 1977 recording “Muziqawi Silt” is a defining piece of the country’s musical history, before going on to work with legendary Ethio jazz vibraphonist Mulatu Astatke.

His first new material in two decades came out this year on ATFA in the form of new album Lala Belu, with Pitchfork commenting that it “radically updates a style that already sounded like the future”.

Opening the show on the night will be Krar Collective, who serve up a colourful feast of mind-blowing Ethiopian grooves and are led by Temesgen Zeleke, a former student of Mulatu’s.

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