Mulatu Astatke’s trailblazing album, Mulatu of Ethiopia, was officially rereleased on Friday May 19. Recorded in New York, the album from 1972 arrived at a time when Mulatu had begun to master the delicate fusion of styles needed to create Ethio jazz.
Born in 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. Mulatu 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 Mulatu appears on all three known albums of instrumentals that were released during Ethiopia’s Golden 1970s.
This definitive reissue of the album comes in a limited edition 3LP 6-panel gatefold set featuring the stereo album master, a pre-mix mono master and a selection of out-takes from the sessions, giving the listener rare access to the DNA of the studio process.
Music In Africa comes with major portal revamp
The Music In Africa Foundation (MIAF) launched its fully revamped portal for the African music sector, www.musicinafrica.net. The new refurbished portal went live on May 25.
The revamp introduces a completely new platform with significant improvements in functionality, design and performance. While upholding the Foundation’s vision to be a leading source of information and exchange in the sector, the site now offers a wide array of new features designed to further the careers of musicians – the website’s core demographic.
Improvements include a tool that allows musicians to sync their music from legal music and video streaming sites, a feature for fans and businesses to book artists, music and video streaming, statistics, a tool to discover opportunities such as jobs, funding, gigs and services, an intuitive messaging functionality to engage with industry players, an Electronic Press Kit generator, and other useful functionalities. The service is available for free in English and French.
The relaunch coincides with the opening of the Foundation’s new head office in Johannesburg.
Ethiopia represented in artwork featured at Carson City’s LXS Gallery
Ethiopia is a world away from the neon lights of Las Vegas, but for Eyob Mergia, an artist and film student at the College of Southern Nevada, the colors of his homeland are always with him through his artwork.
An exhibit of Mergia’s paintings, titled “The Meskel Festival,” will be featured at the Nevada Arts Council’s Legislative eXhibition Series (LXS) at the Nevada State Legislative building beginning Monday through June 9.
Mergia is the last of six Nevada artists whose work has been featured during the biennial session of the Legislature.
Mergia grew up in Ethiopian highlands, studying classical art at the Addis Ababa University School of Fine Art.
After moving to the US in 1997, he briefly continued his art studies in South Dakota, where he encountered Cubism and other modernist tendencies. His educational influences — one toward realism and one toward abstraction — are tempered by a third: traditional art of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
Attending Meskel festival, Mergia drew insight and inspiration for his art.
Migr’Art @ Alliance Ethio-Française
A joint exhibition, Migr’Art and a dialogue between contemporary artists Adriana Torregrossa and Imad Mansour, which is organized by Alliance Ethio-Française and the Italian Cultural Institute, was opened on May 26 at Alliance Ethio-Française.
The Italian Cultural Center and Alliance Ethio-Française invited two artists for a two-week residency on the theme of migration.
Born in 1964 in Baghdad, Iraq, Imad Mansour, challenges audience about the contemporaneity of the artistic work and its complexity. Diverse in its form, multiple in its expression and varied in its materiality, his work shares this common point that is this historical dimension which is consubstantial.
Adriana Torregrossa is a contemporary artist born in Catania (Sicily), where she received her initial training at the local art school. From 1985 to 2012 she lived at Bologna, where she get graduated in “Discipline dell’Arte della Musica e dello Spettacolo”. She began her artistic career by painting and It has evolved towards, the happening, the public participated art, the installations and the photography.