Global A Go-Go presents:

That Ethiopian guy who took you to Dulles Airport last time?  He might be the greatest musicians you’ve never heard.

Hailu Mergia (pictured above) has been working as a taxi driver in Washington DC since 1997.  Back in the 70s, he was one of the pioneers of Ethio-jazz.  He fled the Derg military dictatorship in 1981 and settled in DC, home to more Ethiopians than any city other than Addis Ababa.

In the last several years, his music has made a comeback; now 71 years old, he’s just put out his first new recording since 1985, and it’s fantastic.  On this week’s program you’ll hear a track, plus one from the supergroup he led in the 70s that also featured Mulatu Astatke and Girma Beyene, two more Ethio-jazz veterans who are having late-career renaissances.

Also this week: new Malian releases by Djeneba & Fousco, Fatoumata Diawara and Sidi Toure; the sounds of Brazil’s Northeast; and the music of West Africa’s Islamic funk belt.


All the podcasts:


96 March 14th, 2018

Posted In: Music Shows