On 12 November they will be joined on stage by Fendika.
On 13 November they present The Ex Festival, a 3½ hour improv session featuring an eclectic cast of collaborators - Han Bennink, Terrie Hessels, John Butcher (England), Andy Moor, George Hadow (England), Katherina Bornefeld, Endris Hassen (Ethiopia), Misale Legesse (Ethiopia), Nardos Tesfaw (Ethiopia), Melaku Belay (Ethiopia), Zenash Tsegaye (Ethiopia), Paal Nilssen-Love (Norway), Ken Vandermark (USA), Zea, Lena Hessels, Api Uiz (France), Zerfu Demissie (Ethiopia) and Circus Debre Berhan (Ethiopia).
4 April 2016
Getatchew Mekuria : 14 March 1935 – 4 April 2016
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.