Hailu Mergia — Lala Belu
When I bought a stack of cassettes from a shop in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia in 2013, I didn’t expect that one of the albums would lead to such an interesting and beautiful friendship between myself and Hailu Mergia. The keyboardist and accordion-player’s 1985 tape Hailu Mergia and His Classical Instrument had piqued my interest to such an extreme extent that I immediately searched for, located and called Hailu and we began working together on reissue projects. With the help of many musicians and agents Hailu put together shows in the US and Europe and has made extensive trails in the years since our meeting.
He hadn’t made a new album in ages though.
Now, the maestro has a new album that he made with in London with his trio and it’s called Lala Belu. He worked really hard finishing it in DC after some fits and starts. I’m super proud to be a part of all this. You can catch Hailu playing shows around the world, soon he will be playing festivals across America including Huichica East, Hopscotch, Music Tastes Good and his first show up in Minneapolis at the Walker.