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Sep 9, 2016 @ 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm| $65
Known as the father of Ethio-Jazz, composer and multi-instrumentalist Mulatu Astatke rose to international fame in the ‘70s and ‘80s with his unique mix of traditional Ethiopian and Western music, gaining admirers such as Duke Ellington and John Coltrane. His music became even more well known amongst Western audiences in the past decade when it was prominently featured as the main score to the Jim Jarmusch film Broken Flowers. The roots of Ethiopia’s jazz tradition can be traced back to the 1950s with Nerses Nalbandian, who when tasked to compose music for Ethiopia’s National Opera Theatre, had to figure out how to harmonize local sounds in big band arrangements without destroying the music’s authenticity. Ingeniously, Nalbandian set about solving this complex task – given Ethiopian music’s unique scales – by borrowing from Western instrumentation. Mulatu Astatke later expanded upon these developments by combining the unusual pentatonic scale-based melodies of traditional Ethiopian music with the 12-note harmonies and instrumentation of Western music, giving birth to Ethio-Jazz. Mulatu Astatke, a truly legendary artist in African music, has since gone on to inspire generations of musicians.
Presented in collaboration with The Metropolitan Museum of Art
This concert is presented as part of World Music Institute’s Masters of African Music series.