Covering African, world & roots music

NOTE: New pages are now located at

Old web pages:  Newsletter   Photos   Articles   Videos   Best of   Links

Web This website


T.O. Music Pix Newsletter #61: July 26/08
Click here for information on subscribing and an index of past newsletters


This newsletter is sent only to those who requested it. Information on subscribing and unsubscribing is at the end of this email. Please forward this to anyone you think may be interested. For a full list of past newsletters, see

In this issue
1.Ethiopian night: concert & films (Jul 26)
2. Kassav: Jul 31

1. ETHIOPIAN NIGHT TONIGHT (Sat. July 26). Harbourfront Centre
I've been out of town for almost three weeks, so haven't yet had a chance to update the event listings, but will do so as the week progresses. But in the meantime, a note about a great night for Ethiopian music, tonight at Harbourfront. A concert by one of Ethiopia's musical stars, and two Ethiopian music documentaries (all free).

9:30pm, Mulatu Astatke & the Either/Orchestra

"The father of Ethio-jazz" is the cover subject of this week's NOW Weekly, which nicely describes his music as "enchantingly exotic and furtively funky", and: 

"The seductive slink that characterizes the captivating music of Mulatu who is to Ethiogroove what Fela Kuti is to Afrobeat is a combustible concoction of traditional Ethiopian modes and rhythms mixed in with some nasty Nuyorican boogaloo and busted out with the boisterous bash of a Question Mark and the Mysterians frat rocker."

Astatke's career spans 50 years, but has been taking off lately in the west, especially since his music was featured prominently in the Jim Jarmusch film, Broken Flowers (starring Bill Murray). 

The Either/Orchestra, a big-band jazz ensemble specializes in backing some of Ethiopia's great singers.


11:00pm, Canadian premiere of 2 Ethiopian music documentaries:

The great Mahmoud Ahmed, backed by the Either/Orchestrat at the Banlieues Bleues jazz festival, along with some content on Ethiopian political and musical history and more. (67 minutes)

Getatchew Mekurya & The Ex + Guests:
Mekurya, an Ethiopian sax player whose career goes back to the 1950's, collaborates with The Ex, a Dutch punk-rock group.

"Mekurya's phenomenal style shown here is based on a saxophone re-creation of the Ethiopian 'shellela' singing style, this time fusing traditional Ethiopian material transposed to a powerful western rock based setting." 79 minutes

Related links:



A reminder that this Thursday, Kassav -- the  zouk band from Guadaloupe and Martinique who has been performing for 29 years -- makes its second Toronto appearance (their 2007 show was sold out). Opening: Halisi (from Congo) and Kubuli All-Stars (Dominica)

8pm. Sound Academy, 11 Polson St. (formerly The Docks). Presented by LIP Entertainment who brought them to town last year as well. Tickets $45 adv at Ticketmaster, the box office, and various other outlets.

A couple of Kassav links:


More music events and news to come...


John Leeson