The Godfather of Ethio-Jazz himself, in concert

Mulatu Astatke

The father of Ethio-Jazz, Mulatu Astatke, backed by his full UK based Steps Ahead band, will bring his world renowned jazz groove to the capital of Africa with an exclusive two hour performance on 17 February 2017 at the Sheraton Addis. This concert will be the first one of its kind for Mulatu in his home country.

Over the past 52 years, Mulatu has consistently represented Africa in general and Ethiopia, in particular, on the international music scene through his flagship genre, Ethio-Jazz; an amalgamation of compositions inspired by indigenous African sounds and balanced by classic and contemporary jazz.

He developed the genre during his studies and stage performances in London, Boston and New York City with jazz greats in the 1960’s. “Keep that sound man…” was the advice from the legend John Coltrane after hearing the then young Ethiopian jazz juggernaut-to be’s musical blends. Mulatu attributes his unique genre to the Scientists of Sound such as the Derashe people and Yared.

Ethio-Jazz has proven to be timeless with an intergenerational following from old school jazz lovers to hip-hop, reggae and Electronic music artists sampling his songs. When the Father of Ethio-Jazz walks on stage, thousands gather to enjoy the experience. The communications agency, Zeleman has organized this concert in recognition of Mualtu’s contribution in representing Ethiopia as a musical and cultural ambassador throughout the world.

The occasion includes opening homage to Mulatu by Betty G and Henok Mahari with a special recognition ceremony, capped off with the main event, a two hour concert with Mulatu’s full 8 piece band from London. Several band members will also join Mulatu and special guests from the Ethiopian music community on 16 February for a workshop and panel discussion to strengthen aspiring youth artists on the journey that Mulatu took half a century ago. According to Mulatu, “This will not be a onetime thing; I love to share my knowledge and experience in the field of Jazz”.

Though Mulatu has received recognitions from various institutions including a PhD from his alma mater, Berklee College of Music; and though he has performed worldwide in almost all continents of the world including Europe, North America, Asia, Australia and Africa.  Dr. Mulatu says, “Performing Ethio-Jazz at home on this level will be moving and memorable.”

Entrance fee for the concert will be 1,000 birr.