About Mulatu Astatke
Mulatu Astatke (born on 19 December 1943; surname sometimes spelled Astatqé on French-language releases and ሙላቱ አስታጥቄ 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 drums – instruments that he introduced into Ethiopian popular music – as 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 1970s.