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Hailu Mergia and the Walias - JPop.com
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Hailu Mergia and the Walias

Hailu Mergia and the Walias

Hailu Mergia and the Walias


Walias Band (sometimes spelled Wallias Band) were an Ethiopian Jazz and funk band active from the early 1970s until the early 1990s. Formed by members of the Venus Band, Walias backed up many prominent singers with a hard polyrhythmic funk sound influenced by western artists like King Curtis, Junior Walker and Maceo Parker. In 1977 they recorded one of the few albums of Ethiopian instrumental music in collaboration with vibraphonist Mulatu Astatke, whose role as a bandleader and composer was also a major influence on Ethiopian popular music. Read more on Last.fm
Walias Band (sometimes spelled Wallias Band) were an Ethiopian Jazz and funk band active from the early 1970s until the early 1990s. Formed by members of the Venus Band, Walias backed up many prominent singers with a hard polyrhythmic funk sound influenced by western artists like King Curtis, Junior Walker and Maceo Parker. In 1977 they recorded one of the few albums of Ethiopian instrumental music in collaboration with vibraphonist Mulatu Astatke, whose role as a bandleader and composer was also a major influence on Ethiopian popular music. In 1981 Walias became the first modern Ethiopian band to travel to the United States, playing on a tour with singer Mahmoud Ahmed primarily to audiences of Ethiopian refugees. Four members—Girma Bèyènè, Mogès Habté, Mèlakè Gèbrè and Haylu Mergia—stayed in the U.S.

in favor of returning to live in Ethiopia under its dictatorship. The remaining members—Yohannes Tèkola and Tèmarè Harègou—continued to play together under the Derg dictatorship for another decade. In the late 1990s Walias Band found a wider audience in the west when the French label Buda Records reissued much of the group's music on the Ethiopiques series of compact discs. Their instrumental, "Musicawi Silt", became a popular dance number and has been covered by a number of artists. Girma Beyene: Piano, electric piano, arranger Hailu Mergia: Organ, Moog synthesizer Mahmoud Ahman: Gitaar Melake Gebre: Bass Temare Haragy: Drums, percussion Yohanese Tekola: Trompet Tilaye Gebre: Tenor saxophone Mulatu Astatke played vibraphone on Walias Band's 1977 album Tche Belew. Read more on Last.fm.

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