TVD Ticket Giveaway: Hailu Mergia and Low Mentality at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 11/22

Beloved DC-based Ethiopian musician and superstar Hailu Mergia and his backing band from Brooklyn, Low Mentality, will grace the Atlas Performing Arts Center stage in Washington, DC this Saturday, November 22 for a rare appearance. Following his critically acclaimed reissue, Hailu Mergia’s Shemonmuanaye/ Classical Instrument reissue on Awesome Tapes From Africa last year, the legendary keyboardist and accordion player has had quite a busy year performing on stages across Europe and North America to very warm receptions.

Hailu started making headlines again when another reissue from his past, Tche Belew, featuring The Walias Band, was released in October, 2014. The album is significant in that it represents “a critical chapter in Ethiopian popular music, taking place during a period of music industry flux and political complexity in the country,” not to mention that original pressings can fetch upwards of $4,000 on online record auctions.

On Saturday concertgoers will be treated to Hailu Mergia’s music as he takes center stage at Atlas surrounded and supported by his current co-conspirators, Low Mentality from Brooklyn. Expect to hear many of Hailu’s Ethiojazz classics reworked and delivered with funk-laced enthusiasm by this younger cast of musicians that he’s been working with in the last year.

Appearances by Hailu Mergia are few and far between in Washington, DC, though he tours internationally more and more. To commemorate his only second DC appearance since his resurgence in 2013, Atlas is hosting a reception before and after the concert where fans can mingle about the lobby, listen to Electric Cowbell’s DJ Crown Vic spin vinyl records from around the world, sample Ethiopian cuisine courtesy of Ethiopic Restaurant, and meet-and-greet Hailu Mergia and his band.

You can read our interview with Hailu Mergia from February 2014 and learn more about his amazing journey here.

Hailu Mergia and Low Mentality will perform at the Atlas Performing Arts Center this Saturday, November 22. Tell us why we should send YOU to Saturday’s show on us and our friends at Atlas Performing Arts Center will choose the 2 most enthusiastic voices on Thursday at 9AM for 2 pairs of tickets each—2 total per person! So…go! Leave a comment below!

Tickets are still available!

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  • http://polyrythmo.com/ polyrythmo76

    By the end of the nineties, I thought tapes had totally disappeared, bu the end of the 2010, I thought Ethipiques Label has unearthed all treasuries of Ethiopian best musical production, but by the end of 2012 I discovered one of the best ethiopian artist alive according to me … in a taxi. After hearing Hailu playing his funny keyboard hidden in is cab trunk, I discovered his music and specially the Awasome Tapes of Africa of his reissues…. Digging  further lead me to his incredible music with the Walias band and Tche Belew… I d like to come and see him again because, as a new comer to the city, knowing that Hailu Mergia is living in DC made me even love more Chocolate City !  I saw him in Brooklyn once by chance and I could really love to see him few years later !!

  • http://polyrythmo.com/ polyrythmo76

    I am more a jazz aficionado than a work music expert, but I recently discovered Hailu Mergia and it brought me to a wonderful journey to Ethiopia and greatest orchestras of the 70’s, a time when music was a real heartbeat for musician, who were just looking for the greatest sound rather than fame or tweet followers… In deed Hailu’s music is really a incredible mix of western influences and amazing musical ethiopan scales … I wish I could see him Live , and I am so pride to leave so close to such a legend !

  • Malabata

    “I
    am more a jazz aficionado than a work music expert, but I recently discovered
    Hailu Mergia and it brought me to a wonderful journey to Ethiopia and greatest
    orchestras of the 70’s, a time when music was a real heartbeat for musician,
    who were just looking for the greatest sound rather than fame or tweet
    followers… In deed Hailu’s music is really a incredible mix of western
    influences and amazing musical ethiopan scales … I wish I could see him Live ,
    and I am so pride to leave so close to such a legend ! “

  • farrah

    There’s an image burning in my mind that has been singularly implanted by Hailu Mergia. It’s the image of a man dutifully removing his keyboard from his trunk, squeezing into the passenger seat of his cab, and gingerly caressing the keys of his instrument. The rest is beautiful noise: complex, funk and jazz infused polyrhythms that instantly transport him (and us) back to his native Ethiopia and other worlds unknown, wafting from his cab inside and outside the Beltway. If he can make such a lingering musical impression from his cab, I can only imagine what the experience of seeing him perform live at the Atlas Center would be like. I reckon it would be an extraordinary homecoming, representing the best of East meets West.

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