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20€ / reduced: 18€ / FG friends: 17€.
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The “Éthiopiques” series of albums opened lots of new doors to us. Most particularly, it has given us the opportunity to discover a musical scene brimming with undiscovered treasures, that of Ethiopia. Saxophonist Mulatu Astatke is one of them. Volume 4 of this collection was dedicated exclusively to him and his importance is attested by the fact that his fans consider him as the progenitor of Ethio-jazz.
Mulatu’s fame skyrocketed in the West when up-and-coming hip-hop artists in the U.S. began using his creations as inspiration for their own work. He had originally intended studying engineering, but clearly something went wrong because he ended up graduating from London’s Trinity College of Music in the 1960s. He matured his style in the United States, where he became the first African to enrol at Berklee College in Boston where he studied vibraphone and percussion.
As well as spanning several decades, his musical journey has taken in Afro-cubop and traditional Ethiopian music, not to mention funk and soul. An explosive mixture that captivates listeners with its magical powers at the first listen. At JAZZMADRID we owed him a venue in line with his convening power. He deserves it. As do his fans. Thanks for your patience.
© Alexis Maryon
Vibraphone, wurlitzer, percussion: Mulatu Astatke.
MD, saxophone, bass clarinet, flute: James Arben.
Trumpet: Byron Wallen.
Cello: Danny Keane.
Piano, keyboards: Alexander Hawkins.
Double bass: John Edwards.
Percussion: Richard Olatunde Baker.
Drums: Jon Scott.