Mulatu Astatke honored by Berklee
Posted by admin on May 14, 2012
Mulatu delivered the commencement address to the graduating class and an estimated crowd of more than 4,000 guests at the Agganis Arena, according the university’s website. In his address, Mulatu, Berklee’s first African graduate, thanked the college for opening doors for musicians from developing nations, and encouraged graduates to think outside the box. “At Berklee, I was immersed in a motivating and creative academic environment where Ethio-jazz was conceived,” said Mulatu. “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.” In his acceptance speech, Mulatu made a point of mentioning the different peoples and nationalities of Ethiopia whose extensive musical heritage has been his primary source of inspiration.
Rock and Roll Hall of Famers the Eagles and 27-time Grammy Award winner Alison Krauss were also awarded the honorary degrees. Some of the college’s most accomplished students presented a tribute to the honorees with performances of music associated with their careers and two of the honorees performed. Backed by the Berklee Gospel Ensemble, Krauss performed the traditional Appalachian song “Down by the River to Pray.” Mulatu played vibraphone with students on his composition “Yakermew Sew.”
Mulatu was accompanied by his wife, Woizero Konjit and by his two sons. Mesert Mebrate, a prominent actress who is engaged Mickey Mulatu, one of the musician’s sons, accompanied the artist on this important occasion.
Posted on May 14, 2012, in AFRICAN NEWS, ETHIOPIA ENGLISH, WORLD NEWS and tagged Alison Krauss, Berklee College of Music, Ethiopia, Grammy Award, Mulatu Astatke. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.