Mulatu Astatke  

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Mulatu Astatke (born 19 December 1943) is an Ethiopian musician and arranger. He is known as the father of Ethio-jazz. Born in 1943 in the western Ethiopian city of Jimma, Astatke was musically trained in London, New York City, and Boston, where he was the first African student at Berklee College of Music. He would later combine his jazz and Latin music influences with traditional Ethiopian music.

He has worked with many influential jazz artists such as Duke Ellington during the 1970s. After meeting the Massachusetts-based Either Orchestra in Addis Ababa in 2004, Mulatu began a collaboration with the band which continues today, with the most recent performances in Scandinavia in summer 2006. Mulatu's signature instrument is the vibraphone.

In 2005, his music appeared on the soundtrack to the Jim Jarmusch film Broken Flowers. Also, Volume 4 of the Ethiopiques series is devoted entirely to his music. Astatke has also produced songs for many artists from East Africa, in particular Mahmoud Ahmed.


He has recently released an album sold exclusively to passengers of Ethiopian Airlines. It is a 2-disc set, the first one being a compilation of the different styles from different regions of Ethiopia, and the second being studio originals. Astatke has recently been invited to play at Harvard University to display and lecture on his wide range of musical infuences.

Partial Discography

  • Mulatu of Ethiopia
  • Ethio Jazz
  • From New York City to Addis Ababa: The Best of Mulatu Astatke
  • Assiyo Bellema




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Mulatu Astatke" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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