One of Ethiopia's most influential and legendary musicians, Mulatu Astatke is the godfather of 'Ethio-jazz', the infectious music dating back to the 1960s that combines Latin jazz and early soul and funk with traditional Ethiopian harmony. Born in 1943, Astatke became the first Ethiopian musician to study abroad in London and the United States where he became immersed in jazz music. Returning home, he began experimenting with traditional Ethiopian melodies and rhythms, infusing them with jazz; a new musical style was born.
From the late 1960s and 1970s and through to today, Astatke's global mark on music has been phenomenal. While having never ceased working in his hometown of Addis Ababa, the worldwide public appreciation of his music has been deservedly renewed with many re-issues of his early recordings through the Ethiopiques label, making his back catalogue releases collector's items the world over.
In his exclusive Australian debut, Astatke joins with Australian/Ethiopian ensemble The Black Jesus Experience in an evening that celebrates the timelessness of his music and influence. This local ensemble fuses traditional Ethiopian song with jazz, funk and hip hop. The Black Jesus Experience has performed at major festivals throughout Australia, including Womadelaide 2009, supported Afrobeat legend Tony Allen and has recently returned from a highly successful tour of Europe and Ethiopia.
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