Singer-songwriter Meklit Hadero’s music draws from a variety of influences: jazz, hip-hop, art-rock, and folk traditions from the Americas and East Africa. Born in Ethiopia, raised in the U.S., and nurtured by San Francisco’s richly diverse arts scene, the acclaimed singer embodies these worlds with a sound that is hers alone.
Hadero performed songs from her critically-acclaimed album On a Day Like This… (2010). She was joined by Darren Johnston (trumpet), D’vonne Lewis (drums), and Evan Flory-Barnes (acoustic bass).
Generous support provided by Emanuela Barilla.
This performance was part of the Composers Now Festival, a month-long, city-wide celebration of living composers, the diversity of their voices, and the significance of their musical contributions to society.
Born in Ethiopia in the early 1980’s, raised in the U.S., and nurtured by San Francisco’s richly diverse arts scene, Meklit Hadero is an artist who embodies these worlds. With influences ranging 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, Ms. Hadero creates a sound that is all her own.
Joining her warm, luminous voice and soul-filled phrasing with a songwriter’s craft, Ms. Hadero sings poetic lyrics of “fragility, hope, and self-empowerment…with a cradling, sensuous, gentle sound” (San Francisco Chronicle). In 2010, Ms. Hadero released her debut album, On a Day Like This…, on Porto Franco Records. Hailed by Filter magazine for “[combining] New York jazz with West Coast folk and African flourishes, all bound together by Hadero’s beguiling voice,” her full-length debut—which also resulted in features on its maker from NPR, PBS and National Geographic—introduced Ms. Hadero’s music to audiences around the globe. It also announced the arrival, as stated by the San Francisco Chronicle, of “an artistic giant in the early stages.” 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. Ms. Hadero is currently touring renowned festivals and concert halls worldwide.
Photos by Rus Anson