Getatchew passed away today at the age of 81 after a musical career of 68 years. He was a truly unique saxophone player. Born in the countryside of Ethiopia, he heard the saxophone on the radio at the age of 13 and went to Addis Abeba straight away. He wanted to play saxophone! And soon after that he got himself into the Municipality Band. Later he played in the Haile Selassie Orchestras, the National Theatre Orchestra and more.
Since 2004 he played regularly with The Ex. It was his choice after hearing us at one of our festivals. He recognized something in our music which reminded him of the early groups he was in, like the Fetan Band (Speed Band). He loved playing with us and for us it was also an incredible experience. He was always totally himself, full-on intense and dedicated. We played more than 100 concerts and made two beautiful albums together.
The last few years his health was not very good. He couldn't really go on tour anymore. As a kind of farewell concert for his fans, we organised a big event in the National Theatre in Addis Abeba. He got lots of attention and respect that night: 1500 people in the audience, three TV stations and a legendary concert. Getatchew was playing while sitting on a chair, but his playing was stronger than ever.
His whole life was music. With his unique sound and approach he leaves behind an eternal inspiration! We will miss him.
3 April 2016
Tour Dates April / May
10 June 2015
New 2CD Release - The Ex At Bimhuis
The Ex At Bimhuis (1991-2015) is a compilation from almost 25 years of history of The Ex at the Bimhuis, Amsterdam, one of the world's leading jazz clubs. Twelve exciting concerts and festivals with dozens of amazing guests from all over the planet: the almost legendary first gig in June 1991 with guests Han Bennink, Wolter Wierbos, Ab Baars and comedian Herr Seele; the October Meeting; Han Buhrs PodiumPrijs; ICP Jubilee; The Ex Orkest; three Getatchew Mekuria nights; a New Year's Eve party; two nights of the 33⅓ Festival; concert for children May 2015.
The 2 CDs plus booklet with photos, posters and an article by Dutch journalist Peter Bruyn will be released by Ex Records on June 29th.
27 May 2015
New DVD Release
Coming soon! - an exciting film by the Practice Tapes collective from Dublin of the 3 nights of “The Ex 33⅓ Years Festival” in London's Café Oto. The festival was a series of euphoric and ecstatic concerts in Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and London with a staggering number of special guests. In Café Oto it featured stand-up comedian Stewart Lee, local Ethiopian dancers, French sound poet Anne-James Chaton and a dozen of the top jazz improvisers from all over the world. The DVD is full of The Ex's songs with different guests and improvisations in many unique combinations.
The DVD “And So Say All Of Us” will be released by Ex Records on June 15th.
6 May 2015
Childrens' Concert at Bimhuis 17th May
The Ex and special guest Afework Nigussie will play a Sunday afternoon show for children at Bimhuis, Amsterdam on 17th May. Tickets are available via the Bimhuis website.
10 April 2015
New 7" single - The Ex + Fendika
A new 7″ single, “Lale Guma / Addis Hum” by The Ex + Fendika is released by Ex Records on April 18th.