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Muchmore Music Gig Guide: Mulatu Astatke @ The Powerstation

Muchmore Music Gig Guide: Mulatu Astatke @ The Powerstation - Mar 16 2013
Mulatu Astatke

The Powerstation
Mar 16 2013


The most crucial figurehead in Ethiopia's recent musical history, Astatke is the central architect of Ethio-Jazz, a genre which blends Latin jazz and first wave soul and funk motifs with traditional Ethiopian musical ideas.

Raised in Jimma, Ethiopia, but musically trained in London, New York and Boston, Astatke has been recording and performing since the 1960s. In that time, his vibraphone and percussion heavy soundworld has slowly, yet surely become a pivotal influence on a younger generation of musicians. In the process, as his seminal vinyl releases gain more and more cultural currency, he has been sampled by the likes of Kanye West, Nas and Damian Marley.

Despite his length of time spent in service to music, Astatke's mainstream breakout moment was in 2005, when he provided the score and several songs for the soundtrack of Jim Jarmusch's film Broken Flowers.

Respected and loved by jazz, world music, hip-hop and beat music musicians and fans, Astatke is a phenomenal live entertainer. Energetic and always adorned with a smile, his talents and attitude are truly joyful to witness.

His last show in Auckland saw a healthy turn out of the vibrant and colourful local Ethiopian community who were very pleased to see one of their national identities performing in New Zealand.

As with his last appearance, Astatke will be backed live by The Black Jesus Experience, an Australian/Ethiopian ensemble. Fusing traditional Ethiopian song with jazz, funk and hip-hop, this nine-piece have toured with Astatke throughout Europe and Ethiopia.

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