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13 March 2017

The Ex Presents: Tribute To Getatchew Mekuria (1935-2016)

Tuesday 4 April 2017 @ 18:30
Alliance Française, Addis Abeba, Ethiopia

  • Presentation photobook
  • Photo exhibition
  • Tribute concerts by Ethiopian musicians and Large Unit from Norway.
Tribute to Getatchew Mekuria - Addis Abeba - 4 April 2017

The Ex organises a special evening in Addis Abeba, dedicated to Getatchew Mekuria, who passed away exactly one year ago. The presentation of a 170 pages photobook; the opening of a photo exhibition and a tribute concert by several Ethiopian musicians and Norwegian big band Large Unit.

From the beginning it was the aim to make the book available in Ethiopia for an affordable price. We are very happy to announce it will be for sale in Addis Abeba’s best bookshop, Book World, for 250 Birr (±€10). It will also be for sale at the Alliance presentation.

The photobook is the result of what appears to be an unlikely collaboration between Dutch underground band The Ex and Ethiopian saxophone legend Getatchew Mekuria. The Ex fell in love with an old Getatchew cassette from 1972, and in 2004 they wanted to invite him for their 25th Anniversary Festival. They went to Addis to find him and when they met, Getatchew was up for it right away. He came to Amsterdam and it worked from the very start. Getatchew was so excited that he wanted to play more with The Ex and record together: “I want you to be my band!”. His musical life was resurrected. 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 (2006) and Y'Anbessaw Tezeta (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 organise a Celebration of Getatchew 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. A truly honourable farewell to a great musician. Soon after this, his health began to deteriorate quickly and Getatchew 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 this photobook. It has four sections of pictures; a selection from Getatchew’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 Abeba - to document the career of this legendary musician cumulating in his unique collaboration with The Ex + Guests.


Large Unit in Addis Abeba

Large Unit - Addis Abeba - April 2017

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