Ian S. Port, SF Weekly -Ethiopian born, S.F.-based jazz singer Meklit Hadero is planning a big trip to Ethiopia next month to perform for the people of her native country. It’s her second such visit, after Hadero designed a similar journey in 2009. Hadero will perform for free in two places in Ethiopia, and she and her band plan to give workshops while there. She’s asking help from fans and the public to help fund the trip.
Hadero, of course, is a treasure of the local scene — her blend of mellow jazz and world styles, topped with gorgeous vocals, has won praise from variety of places, most notably NPR. She’s hoping to raise $8,000 for this year’s Ethiopia trip, and she’s already about halfway there:
Funded by the People: An East Africa Tour – Meklit Hadero from Peter Varshavsky on Vimeo.
This is what Hadero had to say about the last trip:
Together, we traveled through the country’s Southern Region, witnessing and documenting traditional and contemporary music and culture. We performed, gave workshops, visited schools, and met with Ethiopian artists who are reshaping Addis Ababa’s creative landscape. Fundamentally, we came together to experience and reflect, and to challenge to the image of Ethiopia as steeped in hopelessness and poverty. This was our chance to learn, to understand the country for ourselves, and to inspire other young Diaspora folk to connect to Ethiopia through its present time cultural complexity and deep beauty.
This May, we’re going again, this time to perform for the people at the Music Without Boundaries Festival, taking place in Harrar, Gondar, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
In Harrar and Gondar, the shows will be TOTALLY FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Addis Ababa’s show will have only a minimal entrance fee. In Gondar, we will play upon the site of the landmark Fasilides Castle, built in the mid 1600s by Emperor Fasilides. We will literally stand upon our history.
We will also give many more workshops, and continue to build our growing relationships with the cultural powerhouses of the country