Meklit Hadero: The Great Harmonizer
Montreal, Canada – With a voice as fresh as the flower thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s always tucked into her hair, Meklit Hadero mixes genres and styles, as comfortable with Ethiopian jazz as San Francisco coffeehouse folk. Always active, sheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s releasing two albums this year, is a TED senior fellow (a title bestowed upon Ã¢â‚¬Å“young world-changersÃ¢â‚¬Â in the fields of Technology, Entertainment and Design) and has put together the Arba Minch arts collective, a group that aims to create cultural links between Ethiopia and the rest of the world, so named for a town in Southern Ethiopia. But thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not all. With the Nile Project, Meklit wishes, through music, to draw together the countries, cultures and communities that lie on the famed African river. No wonder, when asked for a description of herself and her work, Meklit replies, Ã¢â‚¬Å“I like being a paragraph rather than a sentence,Ã¢â‚¬Â laughing.
In advance of her second appearance in Montreal, Meklit spoke to theÃ‚Â Mirrorabout music, community and her love for our city.Ã‚Â
Mirror:Ã‚Â You have East African influences, but your music is also jazzy and folky. How would you describe your music?
Meklit Hadero:Ã‚Â Pretty much how you just described it. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s pretty accurate. I usually talk about it as sitting at the intersection of jazz, folk and some Ethiopian influences, especially in the way that I sing and
the vocal style. So itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s all three of those things together in an improvisation.Ã‚Â
M:Ã‚Â Your show at last summerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Nuits dÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Afrique was very well received.
MH:Ã‚Â I completely fell in love with Montreal. I really, really did. And I hope that I get to spend an extended period of time there at some point. The thing that I really liked the most and the thing that was inspiring was I felt like there was an openness to music there, and an openness of the audience to really go with you as a performer. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s actually really rare in terms of all the touring that IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve done, and I just found it to be a very special place. The people were just so warm, and it was amazing. Read More