Mulatu Astatke is the creator of an entire musical genre, Father of
Ethio-Jazz, and one of Africa’s most influential and enduring musical
Mulatu was at the heart of Ethiopia’s urban music renaissance during
the latter part of the 20th Century. He came to renewed world prominence
through the ‘Ethiopiques’ record series and the soundtrack to Jim
Jarmusch’s ‘Broken Flowers’. Mulatu continues to explore the
relationship between ancient and modern Ethiopian music, receiving
an Honorary Doctorate from Berklee College of Music in recognition of
Black Jesus Experience is Australia’s premier Ethio-funk ensemble, born
of Australia’s vibrant multiculturalism.
Mulatu and Black Jesus Experience met in Addis Ababa in 2009,
starting an enduring musical friendship.
Mulatu describes Black Jesus Experience as, “My favourite backing
band.” Mulatu and Black Jesus Experience have performed at major
venues and events in Africa, Europe, UK, Australia and New Zealand
including Glastonbury, Womad, Bushfire and The United Nations (yes
the UN). Together they won multiple industry awards for their
recordings and tours.
Mulatu’s creative genius is to combine jazz and funk grooves with
Ethiopia’s distinctive pentatonic scales and to contrast these minimalist
scales with richly chromatic harmony.
“Rousing borderless Jazz vision”
“… the overall effect of Sunday’s concert was a seductive invitation
into Astatke’s unique sound world – a world that is still entrancing
audiences 40 years after it was created.”