August 8, 2016
Tickets & Information: (212) 279-4200
Aleba Gartner, 212/206-1450
“Mulatu Astatke’s exuberant blend of the best in African and
western-themed improvisation is a finely balanced craft.” 
– The Guardian


continues its 2016-17 Masters of African Music series with

Mulatu Astatke

Ethiopia's legendary creator of Ethio-Jazz

Friday, September 9, 2016, 7:00 p.m.


The Metropolitan Museum of Art 

Temple of Dendur in The Sackler Wing, 1000 Fifth Avenue

Tickets: $65 | Bring the Kids: $1
Tickets to this event include Museum admission.

Presented in collaboration with The Metropolitan Museum of Art

From WMI Artistic Director Par Neiburger:

"This concert will be a very unusual opportunity to see a one-of-a kind African master live at the Temple of Dendur inside The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Mulatu Astatke is that rare living artist who was the progenitor of a genre. He's seen as the father of what has become known as Ethio-Jazz. World Music Institute's Masters Series seeks to bring some of the world's most influential and important artists to New York audiences, and we are pleased to present Mulatu Astatke as one of Africa's greatest living musicians who has had a cult following for decades."
Masters of African Music
Friday, September 9, 2016, 7:00 p.m.

Mulatu Astatke

Temple of Dendur, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Known as the father of Ethio-Jazz, composer and multi-instrumentalist Mulatu Astatke rose to international fame in the ‘70s and ‘80s with his unique mix of traditional Ethiopian and Western music, gaining admirers such as Duke Ellington and John Coltrane. Like many great Ethiopian artists, his music was brought to prominence in later years though the Ethiopiques compilation series along with artists such as Mahmoud Ahmed, Hailu Mergia, and The Wailas Band. His music became even more well known amongst Western audiences in the past decade when it was prominently featured in the score to the Jim Jarmusch film Broken Flowers, starring Bill Murray.

The roots of Ethiopia’s jazz tradition can be traced back to the 1950s with Nerses Nalbandian, who when tasked to compose music for Ethiopia’s National Opera Theatre, had to figure out how to harmonize local sounds in big band arrangements without destroying the music’s authenticity. Ingeniously, Nalbandian set about solving this complex task—given Ethiopian music’s unique scales—by borrowing from Western instrumentation. Mulatu Astatke later expanded upon these developments by combining the unusual pentatonic scale-based melodies of traditional Ethiopian music with the 12-note harmonies and instrumentation of Western music, giving birth to Ethio-Jazz.

Mulatu Astatke has since gone on to inspire generations of musicians, and it will be a unique thrill to see him perform in the Temple of Dendur.



WMI’s collection of Masters Series brings legendary artists from across the globe to NYC. This year features Masters of African MusicMasters of Brazilian Music and Masters of Indian Music.
Masters of Indian Music 
September 11, 2016, Storm King Arts Center

The sitar virtuoso plays in the Gayaki Ang, one of the most
difficult styles of the sitar that emulates the human voice

Masters of Brazilian Music
October 4-6, 2016, National Sawdust

Unique chance to see the torchbearer of Brazil's Bossa Nova tradition—
the daughter of João Gilberto—in such an intimate setting

Masters of Brazilian Music
November 11, 2016, The Town Hall
November 12, 2016, The Town Hall (new date just added)

Brazil's gifted singer Seu Jorge, who rose to world fame in Wes Anderson's film “The Life Aquatic“ where he played the role of a singing sailor with a penchant
for singing David Bowie songs in Portuguese, honors the late Bowie with
this tribute that even recreates the set of “The Life Aquatic”

Additional concerts in WMI's collection of Masters Series
will be announced in January 2017.


“a widely copied and influential force in New York cultural circles.”
Founded in 1985 as a not-for-profit, World Music Institute (WMI) has served as the leading presenter of world music and dance within the United States.

WMI is committed to presenting the finest in traditional and contemporary music and dance from around the world with the goal of inspiring wonder for world cultures through music and dance. WMI aims to enrich the lives of people living in New York by promoting awareness of other cultures and their traditions. WMI collaborates with community organizations and academic institutions in fostering greater understanding and appreciation of the world’s cultural traditions and presents at venues throughout the city.

Under new leadership since 2015, its 30th anniversary season, World Music Institute has introduced an ambitious expansion of concert offerings that include contemporary, experimental and avant-garde presentations, as well as the traditional music that WMI has long been known and admired for. In addition, the institution is thrilled to have launched new partnerships with BAM, 92nd Street Y, SummerStage, Merkin Concert Hall, National Sawdust, Storm King Art Center, Le Poisson Rouge, Littlefield and Drom—while continuing partnerships with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Town Hall, Symphony Space, French Institute Alliance Francaise, and Apollo Theater (the annual Africa Now festival).

WMI has presented more than 1,500 concerts and events featuring artists from more than 100 countries across all continents. Through powerful programming, WMI is creating a movement that promotes awareness and engagement of other cultures, helping to encourage deeper understanding of communities around the globe. 
For more WMI events and the complete fall/winter season schedule,
please visit
For further information, press tickets, photos, and to arrange interviews,
please contact Aleba & Co. at 212/206-1450 or

Copyright © 2016 Aleba & Co., All rights reserved.

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