Alter Festival

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A visionary figure of Ethiopian jazz throughout the 60’s and 70’s, Hailu Mergia is the innovative keyboardist, master accordionist, bandleader, and now Taxi-driver, who defined an era of the Ethiopian night club scene. Hailu Mergia rose to prominence in the early 70’s fronting the Walias band, an ensemble, blending funk, traditional music, and prototypical Ethio-jazz, with a hard and precise, yet lush polyrhythmic sound. After almost 15 years of no new releases, Hailu Mergia made his return in 2018 with the critically renowned album Lala Belu and has since continued his prolific career to the great pleasure of fans and critics alike.