It's been a little over ten years since Hailu Mergia re-emerged on the international music scene. Following the first in a series of his classic recordings reissued in collaboration with Awesome Tapes From Africa, Mergia assembled a band and began performing live again after many years driving a cab in Washington, DC. His first show back appeared on the front page of the New York Times along with a stellar review and he took off from there performing his flavor of Ethiopian jazz all over the world in the years since, including Radio City Music Hall and Montreal Jazz Festival.
Finally, we have a recorded document of the keyboard player's powerful DC-based trio—which practices each weekend in his basement—featuring Kenneth Joseph on drums and Alemseged Kebede on bass. Beautifully captured at one of their fiery live shows at the venerable Brooklyn non-profit cultural center Pioneer Works on July 1, 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.