Getatchew Mekurya

Definitely don’t sleep on brilliant Ethiopian sax man Getatchew Mekurya. He has recently been touring and recording with the Ex and, of course, is featured in the earth shattering Éthiopiques series.

Getatchew Mekurya

Side A

Side B 
Track 6
Track 7
Track 8
Track 9
Track 10


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

August 14, 2012 at 1:45 pm

This may be your awesomest, Brian. Thank you.

August 14, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Well *this* is nice to find after not having stopped by the blog for far too long! And I can’t wait to get that Archach and Hadda Ouakki in my ears too.

August 14, 2012 at 9:46 pm

Vi danki! Fantastic music.

H. Badaud
Hill End

August 14, 2012 at 11:20 pm

Thanks for the nice tunes.

If you follow this link theres some pics of you at de Affaire Festival in Nijmegen. Just scroll down a bit.

August 15, 2012 at 3:46 pm

I’m really curious to hear this, but seriously, why can’t you use a regular one-download format like other blogs do? It’s annoying as hell to download all these separate files, and all else that comes with it.

Brian Shimkovitzreply
August 15, 2012 at 7:10 pm

a lot of people enjoy having the option to hear individual tracks without downloading the whole record.

if you can’t be bothered to click “save as” 10 times for free music then I don’t know what this world is coming to.

blogs that used megaupload and the like have gotten seriously fucked, pretty glad i have chosen this path.

April 4, 2016 at 1:00 pm
– In reply to: Brian Shimkovitz

Moreover, if you install downthemall on your browser, there’s a one-click option.

August 15, 2012 at 10:13 pm

i agree not change.i much prefer the save as option so that all tracks are individual an can be previewed before being regards from montreal.

the doctorreply
August 16, 2012 at 4:19 am

Thanks for this one, Brian, and your comments above are right on. I appreciate the individual tracks very much.

the doctorreply
August 16, 2012 at 4:23 am

Thanks for this one, Brian, and your comments above are right on. I really appreciate the individual tracks.

August 17, 2012 at 5:09 am

Great post! As for the earlier comment … really? You(banzaibill) know there are programs available like Download Them All! that are perfect for lazy, thankless wankers like yourself.

August 17, 2012 at 5:13 am

Great post! As for the earlier comment … really? You know there are programs available like Download Them All! that are perfect for lazy, thankless wankers such as yourself bb.

August 17, 2012 at 5:52 am

I am glad you have chosen your path as well. BB needs a mantra “Gift horse, mouth, don’t look” or better yet…”don’t be lazy.”

August 17, 2012 at 6:09 am

Thanks a lot!

August 17, 2012 at 10:20 am

Any idea of track titles anyone?

August 22, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Thank you thank you thank you. But I can’t tell you how tired my poor fingers get downloading all these obscure masterpieces. And then I actually have to listen to them! My ears! Life can be such a trial. Keep it up, please.

Brian Shimkovitzreply
August 24, 2012 at 2:07 pm

hahaha, all you guys rule! even the ones who complain sometimes.

as jewish american. i am totally stricken with the complainer gene so i have sympathy.

back from vacation so more music coming soon!

August 25, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Hi Brian,

first of all: love the blog! I have been out of the loop a while though (not checking in) and now that I return I am having trouble downloading the songs. For some reason I can’t use the ‘right click’ to save an individual song anymore. Do you perhaps have an idea about what may cause this problem? I am using Mozilla.

Thanks and keep on keepin’ on!

September 17, 2012 at 4:42 pm

genius – thank you so so much. you bring me muchos joy.

posted a little link at my blog

October 28, 2012 at 5:22 pm

One of my favourite saxophonists ever since I first heard him on the Ethiopiques releases. Amazing, thanks!

November 7, 2012 at 7:02 pm

First of all, thank you.
Do you know the name of this cassette or if its released in lp too?


November 16, 2012 at 9:08 am

Definitely, the first track is Tezeta…and then track 7 is Meche New. Great cassette, I think we can find somewhere genuine name of this release.

December 18, 2012 at 11:25 pm

some news for fans in EU/USA; during next summer, Getatchew will do his last western tour before he will retire from touring…. so keep a good eye on the better world/eclectic festivals!

February 11, 2016 at 7:54 pm

I’m really keen to find out the name of this cassette and any accompanying details (label, date etc). Any clues? Thanks!

April 9, 2016 at 6:36 am

This is just lovely. I love Ethiopian music. Thanks for turning me onto more.

December 31, 2016 at 10:15 am

Dear Brian, this is a great upload, thanks! Can you please note which is the tape so we can find the title of each track?

December 31, 2016 at 10:46 am

hi brian, do you know the name of the tape so we can find the tracklist? thanks for the upload, it is awesome

January 7, 2017 at 1:33 pm
– In reply to: maria

Hi Maria, I’ve also been interested to know more about this tape… it is awesome. I tried my best to translate the text on the spine of the cassette, as I figure that is the name of the album. As best as I can tell, it reads, “Getatchew Mekurya” and “Bemesarija Beya Jetekenebaberu Bahalawina Zemenawi Wezika”

“Bahalawina” and “Zemenawi” are the only two words that have Google results related to Ethiopian music. Again, I’d love to know more about this tape so if anyone can add or correct the information that I provided, that would be awesome.

Yonas Nigussiereply
January 18, 2017 at 9:37 am

The text on the spine of the cassette: በመሣሪያ ብቻ የተቀነባበሩ ባህላዊና ዘመናዊ ሙዚቃ translates to Traditional and Modern Instrumentals

Cultural Ethiopian Musicreply
November 18, 2017 at 11:47 am
– In reply to: Yonas Nigussie

The exact translation – an instrumental of modern and traditional music. Literally “with instruments only – cultural and modern music”

February 11, 2017 at 1:00 pm

I figured using an online amharic keyboard that, track 8 is Eywat Setenafegagn. I will try to locate the others like that.

February 11, 2017 at 1:02 pm

I figured using an online amharic keyboard that, track 8 is Eywat Setenafegagn. I will try to locate the others like that as well:D

February 11, 2017 at 4:28 pm

It seems this tape is of the first recordings of Getachew Mekurya, god knows when -maybe the tape is taken from vinyl or other recordings from the 50s or even 40s, who knows… Some of these songs were later recorded again with the Ex. I tried To figure the tracklist using amharic online keyboard and google translate -so probably there are many errors. I indeed located many songs later recorded with the Ex and verified from the cds. For the ones I could not locate latter recordings so to verify, maybe I got errors in the words. An amharic speaker could definitely help! Also, the pic is cut before the last track of each side so I could not see it. If there is a complete image, Brian, maybe we could read it. I could also try to verify with some amharic speakers know with when I see them.
Here is the result I end up with:

Getachew Mekurya tape – Traditional and Modern Instrumentals

side 1
1. Tezeta
2. Bati
3. Yekubaya Weteti (meaning Milk Cup?)
4. Zerafewa
5. ?

side 2
1. Tewi Semany (meaning leave me?)
2. Hagere Meche New (meaning when the country?)
3. Eywat Setenafegagn
4. shelelana k’ererito (meaning Shelelene cry? I think this is a shelele?)
5. ?

June 1, 2017 at 10:16 pm
– In reply to: maria

Great info!
I’m not an expert on the instruments but it seems to me that he’s using a drum machine and a synthesizer on these tracks. That makes me think that this was recorded later than the 50s… Maybe the 70s? Again, I don’t know when synthesizers and drum machines were available in Ethiopia.
Regardless of that, it drives me crazy that I can’t find more getatchew mekurya recordings. It seems impossible to me that he didn’t record more before the Ex found him.

March 6, 2018 at 7:21 am
– In reply to: maria

I hope you may get this helpful

A1. ትዛታ – Tezeta or Tizita (meaning nostalgic)
A2. ባቲ – Bati ( Bati is a small town in north-central Ethiopia. Bati is also one of the four major kiñits, modes or scales of Ethiopian music, the others being Tezeta, Ambassel and Anchihoye)
A3. የኩባያ ወተት – Yekubaya Wetet (Milk in a cup)
A4. ዘራፌዋ – zerafēwa
A5. አይን የተፈጠረው – āyin yetefet’erew

B1. ተው ስማኝ – Tew Simagn (Listen)
B2. ሀገሬ መቼ ነው – Hāgerē mechē new
B3. እዩዋት ስትናፍቀኝ – Iyuwat sitinafikegn (I miss her very much)
B4. ሽለላና ቀረርቶ – shilelana k’ererito (This is a public show of bravery usually during war times)
B5. አልማዝ የሐረርዋ – ālimazi yeḥāreriwa (The girl called Almaz from Harar)

March 6, 2018 at 7:26 am
– In reply to: Nega

A1. ትዝታ not ትዛታ (Sorry for the typo)

November 26, 2017 at 8:34 am

Great news I recognised the last track also. It is Almaz Yeharewa. Only one missing now

May 29, 2018 at 5:03 am

@Brendan: A drum machine with programmed bass I guess – who could play like that? But it sounds hypnotic!

September 26, 2018 at 4:26 am

Thanks so much Nega!!

November 21, 2019 at 7:00 am

I was curious in the first track if the man said “T’ella” at the 36-seconds mark. I Used to work at a home brew shop and I had a lot of Ethiopian customers making T’ella, Suwa, Tej, etc… and thought maybe he had said something that I actually recognized. Could anyone possibly translate what he said in the first track?

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