Mulatu Astatke studied music ...
When he returned to Ethiopia, Astatke began to forge a new sound, bringing together jazz, latin, funk and soul with his country's music which sometimes utilizes the pentatonic scale.
His early work is included on one of Budamusique's 'Ethiopiques' releases, a multi-volume project that chronicles the music of Ethiopia from the 1960's and 1970's.
Most recently, Astatke has worked with the Massachusettes based Either/Orchestra.
One of Astatke's fellow Ethiopian musicians is one of the winners of the 2007 Planet Awards, the BBC Radio based recognition of music from around the world.
Mahmoud Ahmed can be called Ethiopia's greatest soul singer. His quivering voice fronts a stew of reggae, jazz and soul and is the perfect recipe for a slow groove on the dancefloor.
Ahmed is one of the handful of winners of this years Planet Awards, and he along with the other recipients get some of the Radio M spotlight.
Chicago's venerable latino ensemble has a new release due out later this month and no doubt Sones de Mexico will be featuring some of that material from the upcoming 'Esta Tierra es Tuya' when the band plays a Friday the 13th show at Hot House.