Celebrating the life and work of Getachew Mekuria Ethiopia’s legendary sax player

To celebrate the life and work of one of Ethiopia’s musical legends Getatchew Mekuria, who passed away a year ago, a book presentation and a concert has been organized at the Alliance Ethio-Francaise on Tuesday April 4, 2017, which will include The EX band.

The 170 page long photobook will be sold for 250 birr and it will be for sale at the Alliance as well as selected book stores in Addis Ababa.

The book is the result of the unlikely collaboration between Dutch underground band The Ex and Getatchew Mekuria. The Ex fell in love with an old Getachew cassette from 1972, and in 2004 they wanted to invite him for their 25th Anniversary Festival.

They came to Addis to find him and when they met, Getachew was up for it right away. He went to Amsterdam and it worked from the very start. Getachew was excited so he wanted to play more with The Ex and record together. The result was a fruitful 10-year collaboration with more than a 100 concerts worldwide, plenty of enthusiastic press and two beautiful CD/LPs – Moa Anbessa  in 2006 and Y’Anbessaw Tezeta  in 2012.

In 2014, because of diabetes, he developed serious problems with his legs and couldn’t travel anymore. The Ex at that point decided to organize a Celebration of Getachew Mekuria concert series in Ethiopia, including a concert in the National Theatre in Addis Abeba. It sold out; 1500 people came and there was a standing ovation.

Soon after this, his health began to deteriorate quickly and Getachew passed away on April 4, 2016 at the age of 81 after a musical career of more than 68 years.

As a final tribute The Ex has published the photobook. It has four sections of pictures; a selection from Getachew’s private album with historical photos and photos by three very different international photographers – Andy Moor, guitarist in The Ex, Matías Corral and Nick Helderman who came on tour in Europe, America and to Addis Ababa – to document the career of the legendary musician cumulating in his unique collaboration with The Ex + Guests.


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