Meklit is an Ethio-American vocalist, singer-songwriter and composer, making music that sways between cultures and continents. Known for her electric stage presence, innovative take on Ethio-Jazz, and her fiery, emotive live shows. Meklit has rocked stages from Addis Ababa (where she is a household name) to San Francisco (her beloved home-base), to New York, London, DC, Montreal, Nairobi, Chicago, LA, Arusha, Rome, Zurich, Rio Di Janeiro, Seattle, Cairo, and more. She is a TED Senior Fellow, a cultural instigator, and in-demand performer and speaker. Her TED Talk has been watched by more than 1.2 million people.
“When was the last time you had an hour of solid joy? On this album, Meklit—a singer whose Ethiopian roots blend with the sounds of her San Francisco hometown—has created a cornucopia of music that will resonate with jazz fiends, pop fans, and everyone in between. Each track is completely different than the last...but all of them speak to the individuality of its singer, and her divine ability to keep the listener at attention.” - BANDCAMP: Best Soul Albums of 2017
"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
- "...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
- "You Need to Hear Meklit’s Ethiopian Cover of The Roots’ Classic “You Got Me” - OKAY AFRICA
- "...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 of the best albums of 2017, bar none." NEW YORK MUSIC DAILY
THE NEW RECORD: WHen the People Move, the Music Moves too
Released in June 2017 on Six Degrees records, When The People Move, the Music Moves Too reached #4 on the iTunes World Music Charts, #1 on the NACC World Charts and was named Best Soul Albums of 2017 by Bandcamp, Top 100 Albums of the year by the Sunday Times UK, and Top 10 Bay Area Albums of the year by KQED. 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 San Francisco as they are Addis Ababa. 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!