Legendary Ethiopian Musician Hailu Mergia Comes To Birkenhead This September

The legendary Hailu Mergia is set to play Birkenhead’s most exciting music venue this September.

Future Yard will bring the Ethiopian keyboardist, master accordionist and veteran bandleader to the Wirral on Tuesday 6 September as part of their FUJAZZI series; a regular set of shows exploring the outer edges of jazz.

Hailu Mergia rose to prominence in Ethiopia in the 1970s, leading the Walias Band in their exploration of hard funk, traditional music and jazz in Ethiopia’s capital.

After being forced to emigrate to the US due to regime change in his native Ethiopia, Mergia worked 30+ years as a taxi driver in Washington DC before returning to the live circuit after the label-owner Brian Shimkovitz of Awesome Tapes From Africa found him in order to reissue his unusual, multi-tracked solo effort ‘His Classical Instrument’, originally released in 1986.

Now helming a trio, Mergia has played numberless sold-out clubs shows and appeared at prominent festivals, with revitalised interest in Mergia’s laid-back Ethio grooves culminating after he released his comeback album Lala Belu early in 2018. Following the release, the composer was featured in the likes of The New York Times and The Guardian and played more than 70 shows all across Europe in a timespan of no more than 14 months.

Artistic Director of Africa Oyé, Paul Duhaney said “We’re delighted to be part of the artistic resurgence in Birkenhead led by the team behind Future Yard. Joining forces with them to bring a legendary Ethio-jazz name like Hailu Mergia is something you couldn’t forsee happening just a few years ago and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.”

Don’t miss Hailu Mergia when he brings his amazing sound and story to Future Yard on Tuesday 6 September. Tickets are available via the venue’s website here.


Founder and Editor, Clare Deane, shares her passion for all the amazing things happening in Liverpool. With a love of the local Liverpool music scene, dining out a couple of times a week and immersing herself in to all things arts and culture she's in a pretty good place to create some Liverpool Noise.

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