Mulatu Astatke to explore Ethiopia’s influence on classical music

London, UK – Prepare to have your assumptions about the origins of music thoroughly overhauled at this ground-breaking lecture by the father of Ethio-jazz Mulatu Astatke on November 7.

Mulatu Astatke’s contribution to modern jazz and jazz fusion is legendary but at this talk at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) he will also examine Ethiopia’s contribution to western classical music and a wide range of modern music.

Born in Jimma, Ethiopia, Mulatu Astatke studied at Lindisfarne College and Trinity College of Music in England and Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA.

Mulatu was one of the leading musicians in Addis Ababa in the 1960’s and ‘70’s, during the reign of Emperor Haile Selassie. His career was re-launched when his music was re-released in the nineties on the Ethiopiques series of albums.

There is generally little awareness of the contribution that Ethiopia has made to classical music. The renowned Ethiopian musician and scholar Yared is credited with inventing the sacred music tradition of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and Ethiopia’s system of musical notation as early as 400 CE.

Mulatu’s illustrated talk will be followed by a Q&A session and is open to all.

Before the talk, guests can view the Society’s Ethiopia collection and an exhibition of photos taken by Lisa Bentinck on her recent visit to Ethiopia.

** The talk will be followed by a reception at the nearby Ethiopian Embassy, which will include Ethiopian food and drink, including its superlative beers. Tickets are £10 for the lecture at the Royal Geographical Society (the price includes a drink) and £20 for both the lecture and Embassy reception. Group/student discounts for the lecture are available.

Source: BM