The Kennedy Center

Meklit Hadero



Biography

“I’ve always felt at home with movement,” murmurs Meklit Hadero in the same gentle voice with which she traces her songs’ supple melodies. “All of us are made of many places.” And she should know. Born in Ethiopia, raised in the US and nurtured by San Francisco’s richly diverse arts scene, this acclaimed singer embodies worlds. Joining her soul-filled phrasing to a songwriter’s craft, her music’s influences range wide – from the jazz and soul favorites she grew up on; to the hip-hop and art-rock she loves; to folk traditions from the Americas and her forebears’ East African home. But this singular artist’s sound, drawn of multitudes, is hers alone.

Emerging from her adopted hometown of San Francisco, Ms. Hadero erupted to national notice with the 2010 release of On a Day Like this… on Porto Franco Records.

The journey that brought Ms. Hadero to this stage included many stops. Born in Ethiopia in the early 1980s, she grew up in Iowa, New York, and Florida. After studying political science at Yale, she moved to San Francisco and became immersed in the city’s thriving arts scene. She hasn’t looked back.

Named a TED Global Fellow in 2009, Ms. Hadero has served as an artist-in-residence at New York University, the De Young Museum, and the Red Poppy Art House. Ms. Hadero has also completed musical commissions for the San Francisco Foundation and for theatrical productions staged by Brava! For Women in the Arts. She is the founder of the Arba Minch Collective, a group of Ethiopian artists in diaspora devoted to nurturing ties to their homeland through collaborating with both traditional and contemporary artists there.

Now touring in support of her debut album while nurturing plans for her next, along with numerous side-projects, Ms. Hadero is gracing renowned festivals and concert-halls worldwide. Most at home not in one place but many, she’s an artist leaping from stage to stage before our eyes.
-Joshua Jelly Schapiro

Watch Past Performances

Video 10/18/2011: Meklit Hadero

The acclaimed Ethiopian-born singer laces her compositions with soul, jazz, hip hop, art rock, and folk.

Meklit Hadero