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Mulatu Astatke, the father of Ethiopian jazz
Oct 22nd 2010, 16:06 by G.M. | LONDON
ONSTAGE 68-year-old Mulatu Astatke is as subtle and understated as the Ethiopian jazz he created. The music, a hybrid of traditional Ethiopian music and jazz, is subdued, somewhat melancholy, and at times psychedelic. Mr Astatke, the originator and composer of songs in this canon, plays his principal instrument, the vibraphone, with a light touch. Between songs, there is no small talk. He thanks the crowd, and coolly introduces the next number.
Mr Astatke has completed a Radcliffe Institute Fellowship at Harvard and been an artist-in-residence at MIT in recent years. But the seeds of his “Ethio-jazz” were planted in the 1950s and 1960s when he studied classical and jazz composition in Britain and America and honed his techniques while at Berklee College of Music, where he was the first African student. On visits to New York he hung out with jazz musicians such as John Coltrane and performed with the Duke Ellington orchestra in Ethiopia in the 1970s.
Without a doubt Mulatu has a huge place in the development of music specifically jazz music in Ethiopia. Mulatu produced most, if not all, of his works in the 60s and 70s. Since then he seems to be static. Since then we have not seen or heard any product of Mulatu. Since then there was no single role Mulatu played in the Ethiopian music. Since then we only see him wondering around the world accepting awards and making speeches. There may be some minor activities here and there, but nothing at the scale of the 60s and 70s of his performance. He is only 68, if it is age. He seems healthy, if it health. What is it the made him to fade away from producing and composing music? I wish someone ask him why he is on halt?
All of us know that Mulau Astake is the father of Ethiopian jazz.
What is new???? do not act like dick’s ball, you know what i mean.
Melesna Azeb ager yatefalu ende Mulatu aynet demo tarik yeseral.
A legend by itself, No word can describe this man’s work when it comes to music….
Keep up the good work Mr. Mulatu
teshome people like you are just
Mulatu is real the world know his talent and his work.
ante yematriba Weyanie why dont you shut up atleast for one day.
Ante Egzihaber Regmohal.
WITHOUT DOUBT, GASHE MULATU IS GREAT MUSICAN. I AGREE WITH TESHOMA , WE HAVEN’T SEEN A GREAT MUSIC DONE(compose) by him. SO FAR MY GENERATION( BORN UNDER DERGE AND GROWING UNDER WAYANE),we hear a littel about him.I wish he perform and revoltionaized ethio-jazz, take to next step.Make ethio-jazz signature of our country. open ethio-jazz museum.
we love you gashe mulatu
indeed.thank you mulatu for your years of service to your motherland.
while fools like almariam are talking.this true son of mama ethiopia is changing the face of our music.god bless you mulatu
i think he is yong i mean 68 yrs old means i can say yong person i’ve uncondition love for jazz and i love him too. please don’t give up for retire we need more
INDIANAPOLIS IN USA
mr teshome first u dont know him that well i know him since i was 17 years old @ st joseph school good old days when there is no problem between us as great one ethiopia
this man give us gift that no one ever take it from us coz it is
in our blood his work still shine all over mulatu heart is planted in ethiopia even if he move around the world his mind never rest out of ethiopia as i say i know him vary well few month back i meet him at hilton all i ask him how he do he say thanks god i’m still in good shape and do more for ethiopia
this is mulatu so ethiopian official need to weak up and help mulatu is dimond to ethiopia he still leading ethiopia when it cames to music
tariktesera, you are simply a qiel ras. you become grossly disgusting when everything that you talk about is the same nonsense. It shows that there is not even air in your head. There is a place and time for everything including hateful politics. please let people have some intelligent conversation.
He dedicated his entire life towards
the development of modern music in Ethiopia regardless of the very small turn over(if any)he made even
working in clubs like Ras Hotel,Dahlak Paradise etc to boost the morals of young musicians
ETHIO-STARS band was one of his favorites to hung around with
I was a low profile singer in those
days but he was my IDOL my inspiration.Dont also forget Abegasu
Shiyota and Felke Hailu as well
This two people can lead the next generation of musicians to enable us to compete in the world stage
tariktesera! mene nekah ? u need to see a doctor
His music always bring me back home immersing my soul with feelings dificult to express.
I think every Ethiopian understands what Mulatu has done for the development of music in our country since the seventies
One should be unmusical, deaf or both not to have heard any of that.
That is the individual who should see a doctor
As the old saying goes “LETEQEMACH
SEMAY QERBU NEW”
Unless one is a deaf of with no sense
of rythmes he could understand the
enormous contribution Mulatu Astatke
has done to the progress of modern music in Ethiopia.Or else
“Le Ahya Mar Aytematem"could be a good comment for you
When i hear Mulatus music i feel like i hear our music’s melody to the fullest. Our different ethnics music melody are burried and hiden from the world by our poor development of using the music instrument which our music requires. The most devastating one is the one man band of this cheep electronics keyboard. Hope we turn our face to devlop our music.
One shaby was giving us lift to the city; three forigners and me together. When we came in the car there was orthodox song and the forigners asked what he is listening and they asked politely if he has another. He said ya, and changed the music to Mulatu. Not less than 2-4 minnutes all of them start saying waht a music, can you borrow us, can you help us where we can get it etc. I was happy that othes like our music, he too was to happy. Suddenly one asked who is playing it, who composed it etc? The shaby said i dont know i know it is eritrian music. I told them who is the composer, he is Ethiopian, etc. The shaby siad you know, ethiopia eritrea same ha ha. These issists (Chameleons).
I completely agree with Teshome.As great as Mulatu is, we haven’t seen any innovative product lately. What happened to him? I am not denying the great music he produced in the past. But, what happened to him in the last 30 or so years. Nothin came out of him, may be except on church-based song couple of years a go. I think somebody has to ask him why he stopped producing music. Tilahun Gessess at 69 and with poor health condition was playing on stage. Ato Tesfaye Lema, may be 70, and poor health too is active in the music world. Ato Tesfaye Gessesse may be 75 or so is still teaching and playing. What happened to Mulatu?
Sew yalewn kesete nefug ayebalem
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