Hailu Mergia: Pioneer Works Swing (Live) beautifully captures the fiery show at Pioneer Works on July 1st, 2016. The concert was recorded by PW staff and mixed by Ted Young with mastering by ATFA’s expert audio extraction collaborator Jessica Thompson. The performance clarifies what many people across the globe already know: in his fifth decade of music-making, Hailu Mergia continues to push the boundaries of his remarkable abilities.
Brian Shimkovitz who runs the label Awesome Tapes From Africa came across Mergia’s music in a cassette shop in Ethiopia and worked with Mergia to reissue his classic recordings from the 70’s, renewing an interest in the Ethiopian pioneer, which led Mergia to perform with his band again. His comeback show was at Baby’s All Right in December 2013, which was highly successful and featured in the New York Times. Prior to this comeback, Hailu had been driving a cab in Washington, DC from the nineties until 2019. His re-emergence in the industry allowed him to perform again. Since then, Mergia and his band have performed all over the world, at prestigious venues such as Radio City Music Hall and the Montreal Jazz Festival, showcasing their unique blend of Ethiopian jazz.
Hailu Mergia: Pioneer Works Swing (Live) was made in collaboration with Awesome Tapes From Africa