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Getatchew Mekurya

Mekurya was born on 14 March 1935, in Yifat, Ethiopia. He began his musical studies on traditional Ethiopian instruments such as the krar and the masenqo, and later moved on to the saxophone and clarinet. Upon reaching adolescence, he began his professional career in 1949 as a part of the Municipality Band in Addis Ababa. In 1955 he joined the house band at Addis' Haile Selassie Theatre, and in 1965 joined the famous Police Orchestra. He was also one of the first musicians to record an instrumental version of shellela, a genre of traditional Ethiopian vocal music sung by warriors before going into battle


Article: Album Review

The Brodie West Quintet: Meadow Of Dreams

Read "Meadow Of Dreams" reviewed by Chris May

It may or may not be because of a recent series of programmes about Impressionist art on British television, combined with a passing knowledge of intoxicants, but for some reason the album title Meadow Of Dreams suggests one of Claude Monet's paintings of a field of poppies. As it happens, Monet's poppy paintings ...


Article: Building a Jazz Library

Saxophone Colossi: An Alternative Top Ten Banging Albums

Read "Saxophone  Colossi: An Alternative Top Ten Banging Albums" reviewed by Chris May

Miles Davis once said you could tell the history of jazz in four words: Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker. You might want to add John Coltrane, you might even want to add Davis. But however you cut it, saxophones and trumpets have been the flag bearers of the music. Trumpets got things rolling and saxophones came into ...


Article: Album Review

Hailu Mergia: Yene Mircha

Read "Yene Mircha" reviewed by Chris May

While Mulatu Astatke is the musician most widely associated with the creation of Ethio-jazz, fellow keyboardist Hailu Mergia is among other significant figures. Astatke is best known overseas because he was the most outward looking of Ethio-jazz's first generation, studying at London's Trinity College of Music and Boston's Berklee College of Music and making his first ...


Article: Radio & Podcasts

Destination Africa! Part II: Benin, Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Senegal, Zimbabwe

Read "Destination Africa! Part II: Benin, Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Senegal, Zimbabwe" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

As we continue our exploration of jazz by African musicians and by foreign musicians fascinated with the African continent and its music, this week we focus on Benin, Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Senegal & Zimbabwe. Happy Listening! Playlist Ben Allison “Mondo Jazz Theme (feat. Ted Nash & Pyeng Threadgill)" from Mondo Jazz ...


Getatchew Mekurya: Negus Of Ethiopian Sax

Released: 2007
Track listing: Yegenet Muziqa; Shellela; Aha Gedawo; Antchi Hoye; Ambassel; Almaz Yeharerwa; Yene Hassab Gwadegna; Shemonmwanaye; Gofere/Antchi Hoye; Aynotche Terabu; Akale Wube; Tezeta; Gedamay; Muziqa Heywete; Shellela Besaxophone.


Article: Extended Analysis

Getatchew Mekurya: Negus Of Ethiopian Sax

Read "Getatchew Mekurya: Negus Of Ethiopian Sax" reviewed by Chris May

Getatchew Mekurya Ethiopiques 14: Negus Of Ethiopian Sax Buda Musique 2003 Buda Musique's mind-expanding Ethiopiques series--23 discs strong and counting--is a treasure trove of strange and wonderful music, none more so than that contained on Negus Of Ethiopian Sax, which is devoted to tenor saxophonist Getatchew Mekurya and ...


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