Concert: Mulatu Astatke

I don’t exaggerate when I say that Mulatu’s concert was the best live gig I have ever attended in the UAE!

The band was consisted by exceptional musicians, that seemed to enjoy every second of the full 2-hour gig. They all seemed so well prepared and well rehearsed while so free and comfortable in their improvisational mood. The solos we listened to were just breathtaking!

That night I discovered new musical genres, such as African pentatonic jazz, Ethio-classical cello and ”percussional” fusion jazz! Mulatu’s style—he really is the originator and best representative of “Ethio-jazz”—is unmistakable.  He’s about the only artist you could describe as both transcendent and sleazy. The sleazy bit is mainly due to the colours of the horns and vibraphone, and he himself has something of a lounge lizard!

Mr Mulatu really moved us with his sweet smile, his beautiful and unique marimba playing and his authenticity. Minutes after the concert was over, he came out to talk with the audience and to let us take photos with him. The diverse audience was very enthusiastic being so close to him!  He is a living legend and we were really lucky to be there!

Thank you Mulatu, thank you Africa Hall!