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Mulatu Astatke played Temple of Dendur (pics), the kickoff to World Music Institute’s 2016/2017 season (lineup)

photos by Sachyn Mital

Ethio-Jazz pioneer Mulatu Astatke performed his first NYC show in ten years inside The Met Museum’s Temple of Dendur on September 9. Astatke kicked off the MetLiveArts series in collaboration with the World Music Institute with a terrific 90-minute set with a band he only met a couple of days before. The backing musicians, Adam O’Farrill (trumpet), James Arben (saxophone / flute), Jason Lindner (keys), Tal Massiah (bass) and Daniel Freedman (drums) were on point as they deftly weaved around 72-year old Astatke’s vibraphone (or later his Rhodes and congas).

Inside the spacious Egyptian wing of the Met, the intricate grooves and atmospheric music felt right at home. JazzTimes noted in their review:

“The full range of dynamics was best exemplified by a three-song suite that merged Astatke’s “Green Africa,” “Azmari” and “Chic Chica.” The mysterious meanderings through the pentatonic Ethiopian scale might suddenly be submerged into an electronic haze or a muted, intimate percussion conversation; that hush might just as abruptly be shattered by an anthemic fanfare.”

Astatke’s show was a rare treat and pictures from it are in the gallery above, with his setlist and video from the show, below. The World Music Institute’s season continues (full dates below) with some highlights include Vieux Farka Touré on October 1 at Le Poisson Rouge (tickets); Seu Jorge ‘s two sold out Bowie Tributes at Town Hall; and Songhoy Blues and Mbongwana Star at The Apollo on March 11 (tickets)

Tickets to all World Music Institute shows are on sale now and full 2016/2017 schedule is below.

Setlist:
Intro (Tsome Digua)
Dewell
Yakermew Sew
Netsanett
Green Africa > Azmari > Chic Chica
Motherland
Way to Nice
Yekatit
Yegalle Tizetta
Mulatu

UPCOMING WORLD MUSIC INSTITUTE FALL-WINTER 2016-7 SEASON
SEPTEMBER

Global/Local
Friday, September 23, 2016, 8:00pm
Brooklyn Raga Massive: John Coltrane Birthday Celebration
Littlefield
$20 in advance / $25 at the door

OCTOBER
Desert Blues
Saturday, October 1, 2016, 8:00pm
Vieux Farka Touré
(Le) Poisson Rouge
$30 in advance / $35 at the door

Masters of Brazilian Music
Tuesday, October 4, 2016, 10:00pm, Pre-Show Talk, 9:00pm
Wednesday, October 5, 2016, 10:00pm
Thursday, October 6, 2016, 10:00pm
Bebel Gilberto
National Sawdust
$45 / $65 VIP

Counterpoint
Saturday, October 29, 2016, 9:00pm
Laraaji performs Day of Radiance
BAM Café
Free
Pre-show Q&A with Artist, 3:00pm
Commend (172 Forsyth St)

Desert Blues
Sunday, October 30, 2016, 8:00pm
Rokia Traoré
Symphony Space
$35 / $45 / $65

NOVEMBER
Masters of Brazilian Music
Friday, November 11, 2016, 8:00pm; Saturday, November 12, 2016, 8:00pm
Seu Jorge: The Life Aquatic A tribute to David Bowie
The Town Hall
$45 / $55 / $75 / $85

Collaborations
Thursday, November 17, 2016, 7:00pm & 9:30pm
Meredith Monk & Ani Choying Drolma
National Sawdust
$45 / $65 VIP

DECEMBER
Desert Blues
Friday, December 2, 2016, 7:00pm
Boubacar Traoré
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
$50 and up

Collaborations
Sunday, December 10, 2016, 7:00pm
Steve Reich Celebration: Repercussion Gideon Alorwoyie & Mantra Percussion Ensemble
National Sawdust
$45 in advance / $50 at the door

FEBRUARY
Counterpoint
Friday, February 3, 2017, 9:00pm
Sublime Frequencies Alan Bishop DJ Set
BAM Café
Free

Origins
Saturday, February 11, 2017, 7:30pm
Post-Show Q&A with Artist
Javier Limón Flamenco Orígenes
Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center
$25 / $35

Desert Blues
Friday, February 24, 2017, 8:00pm
Noura Mint Seymali
(Le) Poisson Rouge
$20 in advance / $25 at the door

MARCH

Collaborations
Friday, March 3, 2017, 8:00pm
Pre-performance Q&A with Artists, 7:00pm
Ballaké Sissoko & Vincent Ségal
French Institute Alliance Française
$35

Saturday, March 11, 2017, 8:00pm
Africa Now! at the Apollo Mbongwana Star; Songhoy Blues; Lura; DJ Nenim
Apollo Theater
$25 / $35 / $40 / $50

Origins
Saturday, March 18, 2017, 7:30pm
Carlos Núñez
Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center
$25 / $35

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