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Sound Travels Picks For The MKE Film Festival: The Athlete

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With the Milwaukee Film Festival kicking off this Thursday, Sound Travels this week is all cinema and sound. That's right, all week on Sound Travels I'll be connecting you to some of the world cinema being featured during the weeks of the Festival, talking about the movies and sharing music from the countries that they come from. 

Today, we went to Ethiopia for the sounds and that's to highlight the movie The Athlete (Aletu), playing September 30th at The Oriental Theater. I saw this one in advance and must say it was dope! If you are a fan of slightly tragic but glorious stories about athletes who come through despite the odds, this one is for you. It made me cry a lil bit too, and I ain't easy like that. Go figure, the story is powerful. It features Ethiopian runner Abebe Bikile, the first African to win an Olympic event and the only person to ever win an Olympic marathon twice (1960 in Rome & 1964 in Tokyo.) Matter of fact, of all the marathon's he finished he only lost once, coming in 5th in the 1963 Boston Marathon. Incredibly, he won many of them while running barefoot (ouch!). Here's the trailer for the film...

So musically, Sound Traveled with some fine examples of classic Ethiopian grooves and some charming modern tunes thrown in as well. I started the set with one of my favorite songs, period. Mahmoud Ahmed's timeless tune "Tezeta," followed by Tommy T's "Oromo Dub" from his 2009 release The Prester John Sessions. Debo Band, a modern Ethio-funk outfit got in there as well and they are coming to Milwaukee as well, October 2nd at Alverno's Pittman Theater. I played their rendition of "Musicawi Silt" is more than decent and their other material just as fresh! I rounded out the set with a tune from Bole 2 Harlem and one from the godfather of Ethio-jazz Mulatu Astatke. Checkitout!

Mahmoud Ahmed "Tezeta" Ethiopiques vol. 7

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Tommy T "Oromo Dub (Cushitic Dub)" The Prester John Sessions

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Debo Band "Musicawi Silt" Flamingoh

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Bole 2 Harlem "Qurelew" Volume 1

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Mulatu Astatke "Mètché Dershé" Ethiopian Modern Instrumentals Hits

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