Mulatu Astatke (born 1943; surname sometimes spelled AstatqÃ© on French-language releases, and ááá± á áµá³á¥á in his native Amharic) is an Ethiopian musician and arranger best known as the father of Ethio-jazz. Born in the western Ethiopian city of Jimma, Mulatu was musically trained in London, New York City, and Boston where he combined his jazz and Latin music interests with traditional Ethiopian music. Astatke led his band while playing vibraphone and conga drumsâinstruments that he introduced into Ethiopian popular musicâas well as other percussion instruments, keyboards and organ. His albums focus primarily on instrumental music, and Astatke appears on all three known albums of instrumentals that were released during Ethiopia's Golden â70s.
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