Arts Alive To Showcase Mulatu Astatke’s Ethio Jazz

The 2010 Joburg Arts Alive International Festival has struck gold with the signing of world jazz maestro Mulatu Astatke to perform at the city’s cultural festival for one show only.


Mulatu’s South African debut takes place at the Wits Great Hall on September 10th and is presented by Badia Productions with the support of the National Arts Council, Arts Alive, Ethiopian Airlines, Wits University and Unisa. The event will also include the showcasing of a book about Mulatu’s rich, music inspired life titled ‘Mulatu Astatke: The Birth of Ethio-Jazz’.

Mulatu and his musical genre – Ethio Jazz – was described in the London Sunday Times as the most striking example of new cosmopolitanism (March 28, 2010) Earlier in the year in the Economist (January 30, 2010) Mulatu was referred to as the doyen of Ethiopian jazz men.

Mulatu, now a mature African cultural maestro, has spent his life honing his craft – Ethio Jazz – collaborating in latter years with the Boston-based Either/Orchestra and the Heliocentric Music Collective in London. He is based in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia, but spends a large part of the year travelling across the globe to play for world audiences where demand for his live performances is high.

Mulatu will be joined for his September 10th performance by South Africa jazz heavyweights Ayanda Sikade (drums), Herbie Tsoaeli (bass) and Sidney Minisi (saxophone) – as well as a member of the London based Heliocentric music collective, James Arben (oboe and clarinet).

Mulatu Astatke Live at the 2010 Joburg Arts Alive International Festival promises to be an unforgettable evening for all music lovers.