‘Father of Ethio-Jazz’ Mulatu Astatke Honored at Boston Music School

Ethiopian musician Mulatu Astatke, the members of the Eagles, and Grammy winner Alison Krauss were honored during the Berklee College of Music's commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 12 at Boston University's Agganis Arena. (Photo courtesy of Mulatu Astatke's Facebook page)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New York (TADIAS) – Influential musician and “Father of Ethio-Jazz” Mulatu Astatke has been awarded an honorary doctorate in music degree from his alma mater The Berklee College of Music – the largest independent college of contemporary music located in Boston. The artist was honored along with the Eagles and Grammy Award-winning country singer Alison Krauss during the school’s commencement ceremony on Saturday.

Keeping with four decades of tradition, where Berklee has been presenting honorary degrees to prominent figures in the music industry, students paid tribute to Mulatu, Krauss and the Eagles with a concert featuring their music. More than 900 students from 58 countries graduated from Berklee this year, according to AP.

“At Berklee, I was immersed in a motivating and creative academic environment where Ethio-jazz was conceived,” Mulatu told the graduating class at a ceremony the night before graduation. “You now have the skills and the education to create new innovations in music . . . You are a selected few with a special gift, and we all have great expectations for you”.

Mulatu was one of the first African students to attend Boston’s prestigious music college, where he studied vibraphone and percussion in the 1960′s.

“This year’s honorary doctorate recipients were recognized for their achievements in contemporary music, for their enduring contributions to popular culture, and for the influence their careers and music have had over Berklee’s international student body,” the school said in a statement. “The Eagles, Krauss, and Astatke join the ranks of such esteemed recipients as Duke Ellington (the first, in 1971), Aretha Franklin, Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones, Smokey Robinson, David Bowie, Bonnie Raitt, Count Basie, Sting, Loretta Lynn, B.B. King, Billy Joel, Chaka Khan, Steven Tyler, and Patti LaBelle.”

Berklee says its alumni have won a total of 221 Grammys.

Eagles, Alison Krauss, Ethiopia’s Mulatu Astatke honored at Boston music school (AP)

11 Responses to “‘Father of Ethio-Jazz’ Mulatu Astatke Honored at Boston Music School”

  1. 1 M Sissay May 13th, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    i saw gash mule at a local cafe in addis on 07may. As always we went on discussing from a topic to another. What strike me most in our discussion is his determination and zeal. He not only told me all the experments he is working on, but also the plans he has. For me i need another life to fulfill those, but for him it is just his life. It is this determination that brought him here. I’m happy my good friend is recognised this way, but for me he has always conqured my music test. Can’t wait to hear more of his music. All i can say here is that more is coming. Congrats Gash Mule. You desrve it.

  2. 2 Oak Town Lij May 13th, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    He is the one and only a legend of his own. At 68 Mulatu still rocking! At 33, I wish I had his energy! Wishing him many more years and honors!! I am a big fan!

  3. 3 Tedla Asfaw May 13th, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    Mulatu Astateke “name is chosen by angel”, “Simine Melake Yawetawale”. Mulatu meaning “fill up to the top” like the river water reach its crest. His music talent has now put him in the same stage with Abebe Bikila a two time Olympic Marathon Champion four decades ago. Both are loved by millions of people. Both riched to the highest stage on their talents.

    We love you Mulatu and we know your answer like the late Abebe Bikila, “Yelabune Neger Teyew or Tewew”. You make us proud to call ourselves Ethiopians with no adjectives attached to it.

    Wish you many more years like Matusala to drink from your “Music Cup” Gashe Mulatu.

  4. 4 Zatu Sheberu May 13th, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    It is a treat to see one of mine, ours honored on the world stage. Ato Mulatu Enjoy the moment. Thank you for allowing us to celebrate life through your music.

  5. 5 Tezeta May 14th, 2012 at 8:08 am

    Where can I get his music?

  6. 6 Mimi May 14th, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    What a great news! Congratulations to Mr. Mulatu. I’m a huge fan!

  7. 7 Tsige May 15th, 2012 at 7:37 am

    Thank u for all u done to make Ethiopia proud.

  8. 8 kuku May 15th, 2012 at 9:14 am

    A well deserved recognition! Enquan Des Aleh!

  9. 9 Ephrem May 15th, 2012 at 9:49 am

    I am proud of you Dr. Mulatu Astatke. Congratulations.

  10. 10 Zelealem May 23rd, 2012 at 11:52 am

    CONGRATULATIONS !!! MULATU, Congrats Ethiopian musicians. MULATU You are an inspiration to this generation. Age is only number you have a lot of time to do more.

  11. 11 ADDISALEM Jun 19th, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    congra idol

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