Ethiopian-born musicianÃ‚Â Meklit HaderoÃ‚Â has been blending the music of Ethiopia, her birth country, with the jazz of the US, where she lives now. And now sheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s stepping it upÃ¢â‚¬â€œ not only does she have a new group made up of otherÃ‚Â Ethiopia diaspora musiciansÃ‚Â , but she recently received aÃ‚Â TEDsenior fellowship for something she calls Ã¢â‚¬Å“the Nile Project.Ã¢â‚¬Â It would bring together musicians from countries on the Nile rivers, who would sail down the river on a boat, performing for onlookers on the banks.
Hadero tellsÃ‚Â Here & NowÃ¢â‚¬Ëœs Sacha Pfeiffer that she gets a range of reactions when she travels back to her native Ethiopia and performs.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Some people come up to me and say you know we feel like youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re representing us in a way weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve never been represented beforeÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re proud of you,Ã¢â‚¬Â she said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Others say please sing more songs in [Ethiopia’s native language] Amharic. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s about wanting to see themselves represented.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Hardero has even received advice from famed Ethiopian musician Mulatu Astatke.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“What he said to me was, Ã¢â‚¬ËœYou keep innovating. Make your sound. Maybe youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re still developing it, maybe you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know what it is yet, but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s made of many things and you keep innovating,Ã¢â‚¬â„¢Ã¢â‚¬Â she said.
Source: Here and Now (NPR Boston)