“Seventy-one and flourishing, the keyboard maestro has radically updated an oeuvre that already sounded like the future, and in doing so, he makes it sound contemporary.” —Pitchfork
Hailu Mergia and his band dominated Ethiopia’s nightclub scene, against a backdrop of civil war and revolution in the 1970s. Blending earthy funk with intoxicating Ethio-jazz, they embarked on an early ’80s US tour after which Mergia stayed, fading into obscurity but continuing to compose. Now the global music legend is back for a series of performances spotlighting his unique fusion of lush pentatonic scales, Ethiopian rhythms, and American jazz. His inspiring late-life encore includes songs from his acclaimed new album, Lala Belu.
The evening opens with the Ethio-jazz/funk of Minnesota’s own Yonathan’s Cultural Show.
Copresented by the Cedar
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To request an accessibility accommodation for a Walker program, please e-mail or call 612-375-7564 at least 2 weeks in advance. Please see the Walker’s Accessibility page for more information.