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Mulatu Astatke to stage a concert @ Sheraton

The founder of Ethio-jazz Mulatu Astatke, featured by his UK-based Steps Ahead Band, will bring his world-renowned jazz groove to Addis Ababa on February 17 at Sheraton Addis.

Organized by Zeleman Communications, Advertising and Production PLC, Mulatu will control the stage with an exclusive two-hour performance. Mulatu was musically trained in London, New York City and Boston where he blended jazz and Latin music with traditional Ethiopian music. Mulatu also attributes his Ethio-jazz genre to what he calls the scientists of sound such as the Derashe people, St. Yared’s composition and the azmari music. Ethio-jazz has proven to be timeless transcending generations and genre.

Mulatu, who is an honorary doctor of Berkeley Music College and a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) fellow, is an inspiration for many musicians including Damian Marley and Nas, who sampled his songs in their album Distant Relatives.

In addition, to his musical skills, Mulatu is also a theoretician and is engaged in projects that would bring Ethiopian music to the international audience.

Four generations of black women artists in California

As part of the month-long nationwide celebration of Black History Month, Ethiopian American Alitash Kebede, owner of the Alitash Kebede Arts, is the exhibition consultant for a show entitled “Enduring in vision and Linked in Tradition: Selected works by Four Generations of African Women Artists,” which is being displayed at the Robert and France Fullerton Museum of Art (RAFFMA) at California State University, San Bernardino. The exhibition will run from Feb.11-April 8, 2017.

The show is “an intimate yet captivation exhibition featuring works by thirteen highly accomplished artists representing four generations of African-American women in the art world from the first half of the twentieth century to the present,” the museum said in a press release. “The exhibition features two renowned Los Angeles artists, the city’s native Betye Saar and New Orleans-born, Samella Lewis. Highly regarded, celebrated and influential, both artists still live and work in Los Angeles today; during the second half of the previous century both were a major force in the city’s vibrant art scene.” (Tadias)

Addis International Film Festival to kick off

The 11th edition of Addis International Film Festival is scheduled to take place from April 28May 3 at the Italian Cultural Institute and Hager Fikir Theater. Organized by Initiative Africa, one of the films, which will be screened at this festival, is ‘Do Not Resist”. Filmed over two years in 11 states, this film examines the increasingly disturbing realities of the rapid militarization of police forces in the United States.

The other film “A Billion Lives” is a 2016 documentary film directed and narrated by Aaron Biebert. As the film begins, viewers are confronted by a claim that “this century a billion people are projected to die from smoking.”

The film continues to show the depth of harm tobacco can cause to human health including increased risk of lung cancer, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. A Billion Lives continue by outlining the history of the tobacco industry focusing primarily on tobacco corporations’ attempts to hide the deleterious effects of tobacco and tobacco products.

Lidya Jewett plays a young mathematician in Hidden Figures

Five and a half years ago, Lidya Jewett was an orphan in Ethiopia and now she is in a top Hollywood movie. Lidya Jewett, 9, of Palm City, portrays a young Katherine G. Johnson in “Hidden Figures,” the story of three African-American women who were the mathematical brains at NASA and played pivotal roles in the historic mission the sent John Glenn into space.

The young actress had to excel from 3,000 other girls to get the part in the Twentieth Century Fox feature film. She and her mom were shopping at Michael’s when they got the call.

“I cried and cried,” Lidya said, “Tears of Joy.” The movie, which was filmed in Georgia last spring, stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kevin Costner, and Kristen Dunst. “ The film, which beat out “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story at the box office last weekend, opens with Lidya standing at a chalkboard solving a seven line math equation. (TC PALM)

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