• Mulatu Astatke: Mulatu Steps Ahead

Boston’s Either/Orchestra, who headlined Saturday night’s program at the Chicago Jazz Festival a couple weeks ago, have been exploring Ethiopian popular music since the late 90s, predating the 1998 launch of Buda Records’ essential Ethiopiques reissue series, which unearths music from the country’s golden era in the late 60s and early 70s. The group released a version of the classic “Musicawi Silt” on their album More Beautiful Than Death (Accurate) in 2000; its composer, Girma Beyene, by then living in Washington, D.C., as part of its Ethiopian expat community, heard it on the radio and contacted bandleader Russ Gershon, setting into motion an ongoing dialogue between the Either/Orchestra and a network of veteran Ethiopian musicians.