Asnakech Worku | Asnakech



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Ethiopian singer and krar-player Asnakech Worku’s recording with Hailu Mergia during the height of her powers, on a double LP with unpublished family photos and extensive liner notes by Hailu Mergia.

There is perhaps no woman more cherished in modern Ethiopian history than Asnakech Worku. As a musician, actress, dancer and cultural icon, Asnakech inspired and challenged society for decades, until her death in 2011. 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. This recording is a nearly-forgotten artifact of the remarkable icon’s singular legacy, remastered and available outside Ethiopia for the first time. It also provides a rare glimpse into Mergia’s work as a arranger-sideman in the Addis Ababa music scene.

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2xLP – $23, Cassette – $10, Cassette – $8, CD – $9, MP3 – $8, WAV – $8