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A series of programmes first broadcast on the BBC World Service. Cerys Matthews talks to multi-instrumentalist, composer and cultural ambassador Mulatu Astatke.

As part of 6 music's celebration of World Music and the WOMAD festival listeners have chance to hear a series of shows first broadcast on the World Service.
In this show Cerys is in conversation with musical legend Mulatu Astatke, a multi-instrumentalist, composer and cultural ambassador who, in his 70s, is still busy touring and sharing his funky vibes with the world.

Born in the western Ethiopian city of Jimma in 1943, Mulatu was all set for a career in engineering when he headed to college in North Wales. But he quickly discovered a natural aptitude for music that would lead to further studies in London, Boston.

Mulatu's music is firmly rooted in his native Ethiopia. But, fiercely intellectual and creative, he's travelled the world to further his musical education. Along the way, he's picked up new instruments, soaked up different rhythms and sounds, and created his own musical genre: Ethio-Jazz.

Mulatu talks to Cerys about switching from science to music; how he learned to combine traditional Ethiopian music with American jazz and Latin rhythms; and performing with his hero Duke Ellington.

With music from Mulatu himself. plus Dave Pike, Nas & Damien Marley, Frank Holder, Duke Ellington and more.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Fatoumata Diawara & Mulatu Astatke


    • Sketches of Ethiopia.
    • Jazz Village.
    • SP 9570015.
  • Mulatu Astatke


    • The Very Best of Ethiopiques.
    • Manteca.
    • MANTCDC-245.
  • Llio Rhydderch

    Alawon Mon

    • Melangell.
    • Fflach Tradd.
    • CD-234H.
  • Dave Pike

    When I'm Gone

    • Atlantic Jazz Legends.
    • Rhino.
    • 5150.
  • Frank Holder, Mulatu Astatke & The Three Devils

    Five O'Clock In Addis Ababa

    • Mulatu in London (EP).
    • FNI.
    • NFI.
  • Duke Ellington


    • Ellington At Newport.
    • Sony.
    • C2K-64932.
  • Mulatu Astatke


    • DECCA.
    • 988-3781.
  • Mulatu Astatke

    Kulun Manqualesh

    • Plays Ethio-Jazz.
    • Poljazz.
    • PSJ-252.
  • Julie Andrews

    DO RE MI

    • The Sound of Music.
    • EMI.
    • RCA BD-82005.
  • Mulatu Astatke

    Assosa Derache

    • Sketches of Ethiopia.
    • Jazz Village.
    • SP 9570015.
  • Mulatu Astatke

    I Faram Gami I Faram

    • Mulatu Steps Ahead.
    • Strut.
    • Strut-56.
  • Arsenio Rodríguez

    La Yuca

    • Viva Arsenio.
    • Sony Music Distribution.
    • 1099.
  • Mulatu Astatke

    Yègellé Tezeta (My Own Memory)

    • Ethiopiques, Vol. 4: Ethio Jazz (1969-1974).
    • Buda musique.
    • B0014M5F1C.
  • Mulatu Astatke

    Cha Cha

    • Inspiration Information.
    • na.
    • n-a.
  • Nas & Damian Marley

    As We Enter

    • Distant Relatives.
    • 2741176.