Not many musicians can claim to have invented a genre, but Mulatu Astatke is one of them. Inventor of Ethio-Jazz, Astatke has enjoyed a groundbreaking career that spans five decades, three continents, and a dizzying variety of musical genres.
Astatke studied music in the UK and US as a young man in the ’60s, introducing Western jazz and funk, as well as Latin musical styles, into his native Ethiopian folk melodies to form a wonderful hybrid. This innovative approach created something unique – bringing together funky synths, saxophones and driving Afro-Cuban rhythms. The result was something brilliant and original. It was called Ethio-Jazz, and it was designed to get people moving.
The rest is history – in a career that has seen more triumphant, life-affirming live appearances than one ordinary human should be capable of, he remains as relevant and inspirational today as always has been. We’re overjoyed that he’s coming to at Larmer Tree.