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22 - 26.08 • Feeërieën
Mulatu Astatke, Sun Ra, Jimmy Smith, Ayalew Mesfin & Fela Kuti fans: unite!
From 22 to 26 August, you can again count on AB’s free summer festival Feeërieën for a musical smorgasbord.
8:15 pm (BONGO JOE PRESENTS) NYATI MAYI & THE ASTRAL SYNTH TRANSMITTERS (BEL/DRC)
(Les Disques) Bongo Joe – the Swiss label that took its name from the American street musician George ‘Bongo Joe’ Coleman – is still a good measure of musical quality. Just think: Altin Gün, Derya Yildirim, Lalalar or L’Eclair. And now too – brace yourself – Nyati Mayi & The Astral Synth Transmitters.
Nyati Mayi & The Astral Synth Transmitters is the curious Congolese/Belgian project of multi-instrumentalist, singer and improv dancer Nyati Mati and Brussels producer DJ Sofa (see too: Mameen 3). The result of which is soon to be heard on their debut ‘Lulanga Tales’. An effervescent vat full of outsider music or – if you will - free form music. With echoes of nineties hip-hop, folk, dub, Fela Kuti and Sun Ra.
9:30 pm (AWESOME TAPES FROM AFRICA PRESENTS) HAILU MERGIA (ETH)
Mulatu Astatke-soulmate and living legend Hailu Mergia actually drops by the Feeërieën! The now 76-year-old keyboard player and accordionist has been an innovative force in Ethio-jazz since the ’70s. He began as bandleader of the Walias Band and made a name for himself as a pioneer during the ‘golden age’ of Ethiopian jazz-funk. Their album ‘Tche Belew’ (1977) saw appearances by good folk like Mulate Astatke, and collectors pay more than €2000(!) for an original copy.
Astatke also spoke praise of the man in the liner notes: “To arrange and perform music like Hailu Mergia requires special talent.” His career received a solid boost by the re-release of his ‘forgotten’ music by the label Awesome Tapes from Africa (see too: Ata Kak, Antoinette Konan, Nahawa Doumbia, …), followed by a series of new releases such as ‘Lala Belu’ in 2018 and ‘Yene Mircha’ in 2020.