Mulatu’s biography to be published
Mulatu Astatke is something of a musical giant but not a single book on his life and art has been written yet. But the time has come for a book about him, as two universities will soon publish his biography.
Two scholars Abebe Zegeye and Meskerem Aseged from University of South Africa have been working on a portrait of this musical figure. The book is being finalized and is expected to come out next April.
Two other Harvard scholars are also researching on the artist’s life and conducting interviews with him.
Mulatu who now is in Harvard on a fellowship says he is having a grand time there. In a recent interview with the Amharic service of the VOA, he said he is conducting research on Ethiopia’s contribution to world music. The lecture he had delivered “Learning from a Performer’ weeks ago was also a success, he said.
Mulatu has been in Ethiopia’s musical scene for the past four decades and his name has become synonymous with Ethio-Jazz, a brand that he created. The sound that he thought up and inspired blending traditional Ethiopian forms, harmonic European structures and other forms of jazz endured for years. Some of his works became soundtracks for Hollywood made Jim Jarmusch’s 2005 film Broken Flowers, earning him international recognition.