Press Quotes

"Get into Meklit." - VIBE MAGAZINE

"Brilliant." - NEW YORK MAGAZINE 

- "With her latest masterpiece, Meklit has affirmed her place among her childhood heroes: at the shining crossroads of two cultures, making truly moving music."  POPMATTERS

"A wildly groovy style of music." - ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

- "...a rare artist...The album comprises knotted, earnest ruminations on finding one’s self, finding one’s loves, and anthems for the very act of making music... creating something compelling and wholly her own" - AFROPOP

“One for the summer playlist.” - THE SUNDAY TIMES, UK

"One of the best albums of 2017, bar none." NEW YORK MUSIC DAILY

- "...if you have any doubts that the musical styles of East Africa and the Bay Area can be melded with equal parts grit and grace, she'll knock them right out of you with vocals, horns and percussion — such exhilarating, heartbeat-propelling percussion — by the time the first chorus comes around." - NPR

"To understand Meklit’s story, you must first place yourself in front of a map and open up your ears. It’s only then that her music can hit you with full force—and trust us, when it does, you’ll be happy you’re knocked off your feet." - DIG BOSTON

- "You Need to Hear Meklit’s Ethiopian Cover of The Roots’ Classic “You Got Me” - OKAY AFRICA


THE NEW RECORD: WHen the People Move, the Music Moves too

 

#4 and 12

Meklit's new album was released June, 23 2017 on Six Degrees records, and within hours went to #4 on the iTunes World Music Charts. The record was produced by multi-GRAMMY winning singer-songwriter/producer Dan Wilson (Adele, John Legend).  Mulatu Astatke - the Godfather of Ethio-Jazz, inspired this album with a directive to Meklit back in 2011. He told her, "find your contribution to Ethio-Jazz and keep on innovating!"  His words sparked these 11 celebratory songs, born of of a hyphenated Ethio-American identity, as Oakland as they are Addis. The record features world renowned musicians Preservation Hall Jazz Band and the violinist/whistler Andrew Bird.


Last night at Lincoln Center, Meklit came to conquer. Rocking a sassy kente cloth skirt and black top, the ex-Brooklynite Ethio-jazz belter bounded and whirled across the stage, singing in both English and Amharic, leading a tight six-piece band through a passionate, fiery, subtly relevant mix of mostly new songs from her forthcoming album When the People Move, the Music Moves Too. Freed from behind her acoustic guitar – at least for most of the set – she’s found new vocal power in her low register, and commands the stage like never before."

- NEW YORK MUSIC DAILY


Kemekem (I Like Your Afro), Featuring Samuel Yirga, named top African track of 2015 by both the BBC and OkayAfrica!

 
Photo by Tessa Shimizu

Photo by Tessa Shimizu

PAST SHOW HIGHLIGHTS

Meklit has played at Bumbershoot, SXSW, Skirball Center (NYC + LA), Southbank Centre (London 2013 + 2015), Moods (Zurich), The Kennedy Center, the Hollywood Bowl, the TED Conferences (Edinburgh, Rio di Janeiro, Long Beach), Monterey Jazz Festival, Nuits D’Afrique (Montreal), SFJazz Center, Triple Door, Vancouver Jazz Fest, The Monk (Rome), Davies Symphony Hall for Pop Up Presents the Beck Song-Reader (with Beck, Melody of China, John C. Riley), Nairobi's Blanket's and Wine Music Festival, Gondar Castles - World Heritage Site Ethiopia, Uganda National Theater, Aswan Cultural Palace, and many many more. 

Photo by Tessa Shimizu

Photo by Tessa Shimizu

Live at the Lafayette Theater

Live at the Lafayette Theater

Meklit and her projects have also been covered by:  The Wall St. Journal, The New Yorker, New York Times, WNYC, KEXP Seattle, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Sun Times, PBS, PRI’s The World, Time Out New York, BBC Radio 4 - Front Row, BBC Women's Hour, BBC World Service - Focus on Africa + Arts Daily, Seattle Times, Seattle Weekly, National Geographic World Music, Huffington Post, Filter Magazine, Le Presse (Montreal), MTV Iggy, OkayAfrica, The Village Voice, Google Music, Relix Magazine, Pidgeons and Planes, WIRED Magazine UK and many more. 

 

    Meklit regularly does talks for universities, conferences, companies and organizations. She has spoken at the TED Conferences, the Wavelengths APAP World Music Pre-Conference, the Universities of Maryland, Missouri, Purdue, and NYU, and for companies like Amplifon.  

    Examples of talks include:

    • The Unexpected Beauty of Everyday Sounds, TED Talk given at the TED Fellows Retreat 2015, Monterey, CA. 

    • Keynote Address at Wavelengths, The APAP World Music Pre-Conference, January 2017.

    • I Write the Songs I Wish I Had When I Was A Kid

    • World Music - American Sound: Immigrant Music and the American Identity

    • Skill-sets for Developing A Creative Career

    • Cultural Activism and 21st Century Community Engagement

    • Meklit: Musician, Composer, Cultural Instigator

    • The History Of Ethio-Jazz

    • There Is No Such Thing As World Music

    • How To Be A Bandleader: A DIY Approach to Making Music

    • Creative Practice/Creative Approach

    • Women in Songwriting and Composing.