Ethio-jazz legend Mulatu Astatke to speak at RGS

Posted on September 29th, 2012 in News, Recent posts by .


On November 7, during World Travel Market week, the ‘father of Ethio-jazz,’ Mulatu Astatké, will discuss Ethiopia’s contribution to world music at the Royal Geographical Society.

Mulatu 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.

Ranking among the most influential African musicians of all-time, Dr Astatké is a composer, arranger, performer, fellow of Harvard University and an advisor for African Scholarship at Berkeley College, Boston.

His music has been widely acclaimed for over 50 years and the Ethiopiques CD series has opened up a new audience for his ‘Ethio-jazz’ experiments. But it wasn’t until Jim Jarmusch’s Broken Flowers film featured his music that momentum started to gather and a young generation of urban artists started sampling his music, the greatest example being Nas & Damian Marley’s sample of ‘Yegelle Tezeta’.


The RGS event will include an exhibition of Lisa Bentick’s Hipstamatic images from her recent travels in Ethiopia.

Ticket holders will also be able to explore the Society’s rich Ethiopian collections, a coffee ceremony, music and dancing, to be followed by a reception at the nearby Ethiopian Embassy.

To book your tickets, please click here.

For more information, please contact us on

Mulatu Astatké will also be playing at London’s Koko Club in Camden on November 18, as part of the London Jazz Festival in association with BBC3. Tickets can be purchased here.

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