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Mulatu Astatke

  • Nells Jazz & Blues 3 North End Road London, England, SW6 1PD United Kingdom (map)

Mulatu Astake

Mulatu Astatke is a hugely influential Ethiopian musician and arranger born in the western Ethiopian city of Jimma. Mulatu trained in London, New York City, and Boston where he combined his jazz and Latin music interests with traditional Ethiopian music and became the first African student to enroll at Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music from where he received an honourary degree in 2012. Astatke led his band while playing vibraphone and conga drums—instruments that he introduced into Ethiopian popular music— other percussion instruments, keyboards and organ. His albums focus primarily on instrumental music, and Astatke appears on all three known albums of instrumentals that were released during Ethiopia’s Golden ’70s.

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Earlier Event: October 16
Habib Koité
Later Event: January 27
Vieux Farka Touré