29 May 2018






Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, Piet Heinkade 1 Amsterdam Netherlands



Legendary 70s jazz keyboardist from Ethiopia releases brand new album

From famous musician in Ethiopia to taxi driver in Washington to international star. Hailu Mergia had a turbulent career and is a legendary Ethio Jazz-keyboardist and accordeonist. Due to the reissues of his forgotten music by American label Awesome Tapes From Africa, he obtained a cult status. And now he is back with his first album in 15 years, Lala Belu.

Hailu Mergia released different succesful albums during the 1970s and 1980s, cooperating with the famous Walias Band amongst others. His characteristic, laidback funky and intoxicating sound is typical for the beloved Ethiopian 70s jazz. Nowadays, Mergia performs with a jazztrio including Tony Buck (The Necks) and Mike Majkowski. When not on tour, he still works as a taxi driver.

Support: DJ Katapila
DJ Katapila is a Ghanaian DJ/producer whose relentlessly joyful DJ sets have swiftly become a thing of legend: splicing the neo-traditional dance music styles of his youth in Accra with the uptempo, bass-heavy, Roland 808-rooted sounds of Detroit techno, Chicago acid and house. Live he adorns his killer selections with electronic percussion and vocal interjections that help galvanise waves of full-blown euphoria wherever he plays.

DJ Katapila's new Aroo EP (Awesome Tapes From Africa) is the latest addition to the iconoclastic producer’s catalog of fast-paced, pan-West African-influenced dance music and follows his debut Trotro (2016) which ignited the international acclaim for his work, with the likes of The New York Times, Pitchfork, Resident Advisor and FACT heaping praise on his work.

Cutting his teeth in the early 90s as a mobile DJ at funerals across Ghana, Katapila began spontaneously inserting Ga- and Twi-language chants and raps into instrumental breaks of the well-trodden international house and techno radio hits he’d been playing. Performing on his Yamaha DD11 electronic drum pads during instrumental breaks, he also added his own percussion. He combined the microphone toasting and his rhythms with a sampler and invented new creations on the fly, establishing his trademark rough-edged dance sound which has now become ubiquitous in Ghana and other parts of West Africa.