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Awesome Tapes From Africa releasing classic album from Ethiopian icon Asnakech Worku

An album made with veteran Hailu Mergia.

This week, Awesome Tapes From Africa reissues Asnakech, a famous album from musician, dancer and actress Asnakech Worku. This recording is a nearly-forgotten artifact of the remarkable icon’s singular legacy, remastered and available outside Ethiopia for the first time.

From her beginnings as Ethiopia’s first theater actress in 1952 to her acclaimed film appearances to her days as a club owner-turned-master musician, Asnakech’s inimitable confidence and charm made her a household name. She earned endless accolades across the artistic spectrum.

In 1975, keyboardist and bandleader Hailu Mergia got a call from the owner of Misratch Music Shop to do a recording with Asnakech and he went for it. The record provides a rare glimpse into Mergia’s work as a arranger-sideman in the Addis Ababa music scene. 

Earlier this year, Hailu Mergia released a fantastic new album on Awesome Tapes From Africa.

Pre-order Asnakech here ahead of its 16th November release, and check out the track list below.


1. Jinyew
2. Tche Belew
3. Awkew Beneber
4. Bayne Lay Yidal
5. Mingizem Yene New
6. Tew Begize Giba
7. Sak Bleh Askegn
8. Abyotegnaw Jegna
9. Kand Yerega Deg New
10. Mech Alkugn Lela Sew

Read next: Hailu Mergia: Taxi to Ethio-Jazz