Meklit is an Ethio-American singer, composer, and cultural instigator based in the San Francisco Bay Area for the past 12 years. Her music sits on the hyphen line, born as equally from San Francisco as it is from Addis Ababa.
Meklit's third record, This Was Made Here comes out this spring on Six Degrees Records and is produced by multi-GRAMMY winning artist/songwriter Dan Wilson (Adele, John Legend, Dixie Chicks). Deeply inspired by Mulatu Astatke (the Godfather of Ethio-Jazz), the songs shine with pentatonic melodies, Ethio groove, and a singer-songwriter's poetic core. This is immigrant music and American music all at the same time.
Meklit is a TED Senior Fellow and her TED Talk, The Unexpected Beauty of Everyday Sounds, has been watched by more than 1 million people. She has received musical commissions from Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the MAP Fund and has toured extensively across the US, UK, and East Africa. As an artist-in-residence at Universities including NYU and Purdue, she explores questions of cultural activism, thinking about how music and arts can help us ask questions about who we are and where we want to go collectively. In 2011, she co-founded the Nile Project with Egyptian Ethnomusicologist Mina Girgis, which the New York Times called "a committed, euphoric, international coalition."
Meklit and her projects have been covered by:
USA Today, NPR, The New Yorker, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Sun Times, PBS, PRI, the BBC, Seattle Times, Le Presse (Montreal), MTV Iggy, OkayAfrica, The Village Voice, Google Music, Relix Magazine, Pidgeons and Planes, WIRED Magazine UK and many more. Her video for Kemekem was named a top 10 African Track of 2015 by the BBC and Okay Africa.
She has played at festivals and venues in the US, the UK and East Africa, including:
Bumbershoot Music Festival, SXSW, The Kennedy Center, Southbank Centre (London 2013 and 2015), Moods (Zurich), the Hollywood Bowl, the TED Conferences (Edinburgh, Rio di Janeiro, Long Beach), Monterey Jazz Festival, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Nuits D’Afrique (Montreal), SFJazz Center, the Gondar Castles (World Heritage Site, Ethiopia), Blankets and Wine Music Festival (Nairobi) and many more.
Meklit sits on the board of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, on the Artist Council of the de Young Museum, and holds a BA from Yale University.