Master accordionist and veteran bandleader, arranger and keyboardist Hailu Mergia is originally from Ethiopia.
An innovative Ethiopian keyboardist, accordionist, and bandleader, Hailu Mergia rose to prominence in the early ‘70s fronting the Walias Band, an instrumental funk and jazz ensemble and fixture of the Addis Ababa hotel circuit.
Immigrating to the U.S. in the early ‘80s, Mergia issued a series of homemade solo releases while working as a taxi driver, later rediscovered by the Awesome Tapes from Africa label, whose reissues in the 2010s helped him mount a successful late-career surge that resulted in the 2018 comeback album Lala Belu.
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