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Getatchew Mekuria: The Lion Of Ethiopian Saxophone edited by The Ex

Getatchew Mekuria: The Lion Of Ethiopian Saxophone edited by The Ex

Published by Terp Records Pbk 170 pp (2016)

Price: £17
Postage and packing:
UK – free
Overseas airmail – £2
Subscribers to The Wire get a discount of £2 off each copy

Publisher Terp says: “This 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 invited 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 100 concerts worldwide, plenty of enthusiastic press and two beautiful CD/LPs.

"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, at the National Theatre in Addis Ababa. 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 Ababa, to document this unique collaboration between Getatchew Mekuria & The Ex & Guests.”