Mulatu Astatke to receive Honorary Degree from Berklee College of Music
Boston, MA – Berklee College of Music President Roger Brown will present the Eagles, Alison Krauss and Mulatu Astatke of Ethiopia with honorary Doctor of Music degrees at Berklee’s commencement ceremony, Saturday, May 12, at the 7, 000-seat Agganis Arena at Boston University.
This year’s honorary doctorate recipients are being recognized for their achievements and influence in music, and for their enduring contributions to American and international culture. Past recipients include Duke Ellington (the first, in 1971), Dizzy Gillespie, Smokey Robinson, Steven Tyler, Aretha Franklin, Quincy Jones, Juan Luis Guerra, Paco de Lucia, David Bowie, the Edge, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Chaka Khan, Bonnie Raitt, Ahmet Ertegun, Kenneth Gamble, and Leon Huff.
On commencement eve, as is Berklee’s tradition, students will pay tribute to the honorees by performing music associated with their careers at the Agganis. The concert and ceremony are not open to the public.
Mulatu Astatke is an Ethiopian musician (piano, organ, vibraphone, percussion), composer, and arranger. He is known as the father of Ethio-jazz, a unique blend of pop, modern jazz, traditional Ethiopian music, Latin rhythms, Caribbean reggae, and Afro-funk. Born in 1943, Astatke was musically trained in London, New York City, and Boston, where he was the first African student at Berklee College of Music. He went on to work with Duke Ellington and other acclaimed jazz artists, found a music school, and open his own club. Astatke’s work shepherded in a golden age in Ethiopia’s pop and jazz circles from 1968 to 1974. In 2004, he began collaborating with Either/Orchestra, and in 2009, he released an album with the London-based collective the Heliocentrics. Since 2010, Mulatu and his band have toured regularly behind Mulatu Steps Ahead, his latest release on Strut Records.Ã‚Â Read Full Story here.