Video > Hailu Mergia

Hailu Mergia, a star in 70's Ethiopia was part of the Walias Band, one of the most successful of it's time. However during the 80s dictatorship some band members felt pressured to leave and opted to reside in the US after touring there, to avoid the political situation back home. Life has been driving taxis in Washington for Hailu with every spare moment spent playing his instruments. Thanks to the awesome label awesometapesfromafrica Hailu was given a new lease of life. Brian Shimkovitz, label-head, discovered Hailu's album 'His Classical Instrument' in an Ethiopian cassette shop and had it reissued. As a result there's been a renewed interest which has allowed Hailu to do a European tour. Here's a humble and inspiring documentary from FarOffSounds that features Hailu's journey, plus a piece from the NY Times on his recent Brooklyn show.