Mulatu Astatke with The Black Jesus Experience

  • Friday 25 November 2011

Astatke is known as the ‘Father of Ethio-Jazz’, a style of music that combines Latin jazz and early soul and funk with traditional Ethiopian harmony.

The influence of the vibraphone and percussion master has been felt globally since he began performing and recording in the 1960s, and his career has received a recent boost thanks to a new generation of fans discovering his music. Record lovers have dug far and wide for his early vinyl releases, and he has found his distinctive work sampled by the likes of Kanye West, Nas and Damian Marley.

He is possibly best known to mainstream audiences for his musical contribution to Jim Jarmusch’s 2005 film Broken Flowers, for which he provided the score and several songs on the soundtrack.

Considered one of the finest and most inventive composers by both beat-heads and jazz-cats alike, Astatke is also a lively and vibrant performer, bringing phenomenal skills, boundless energy and a broad smile whenever he takes the stage.

For this one-off New Zealand show, Mulatu Astatke is joined by The Black Jesus Experience, an Australian/Ethiopian ensemble who fuse traditional Ethiopian song with jazz, funk and hip hop. The nine-piece group supported Astatke for his recent sell-out Australian shows, having just returned from their own highly successful tour of Europe and Ethiopia.

Listen to:
Mulatu Astatke on Radio NZ
13th Floor interview with Mulatu