Santa Cruz Good Times

Thursday
May 28th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Sisterhood of the Traveling Performer

music_MeklitHaderoEthiopia-born singer Meklit Hadero puts multicultural spin on jazz

Even through the haze of jetlag and cross-continental cellular static, Meklit Hadero’s presence is remarkable. Whether mesmerizing audiences in America or in her home country of Ethiopia, the singer/songwriter traces her confidence and charisma to her migrant life.

“I think moving around did two things: one was that it taught me how to make friends with a big variety of people and connect with people who didn’t have much in common with me, and it also taught me how to be comfortable in a huge variety of situations,” explains Hadero. “It gave me a real flexibility of living that I use all the time, and I also think it was great preparation for life on the road as a touring musician in general.”

Throughout her life, Hadero has called a dozen cities and three continents her home, and the mellow fluidity and multi-generational appeal of her songs seem to embody the best of all the cultures she’s been a part of. “It sits at the crossroads of North American songwriters, the jazz tradition and Ethiopian music,” she says of her musical style. “In Ethiopian music there’s a sort of super vibrato where people hover around a note instead of grabbing a note and holding onto it—it’s just kind of how my voice was and is, I can feel that my voice comes from that place.”

As a child, it was clear that Hadero had a passion for music—“My mother will tell stories of me being three years old and asking people in the elevator if they wanted to hear me sing ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,’” she admits—but her career as a musician didn’t blossom until she moved to the Bay Area.

In San Francisco, Hadero found an audience at the Mission Arts and Performance Project, a community-based grassroots art event, where artists from around the world collaborate.

“That whole community showed me how to be a singer and a musician that was actively engaged in the community, but also inspired by the other artists around—not just musicians, but visual artists as well,” she says. “I’m not so much about being a particular kind of musician as I am about experimenting with sound and bringing genre-bending music to a new place.” That experimentation is evident on both her EP, Eight Songs, and the full-length record, On a Day Like This.

At the center of it all is her warm and expressive voice, which she says is the result of her fascination with the intricacies of vocal expression. “The voice is an instrument that has such a subtlety to it—it responds to your moods, it’s different all the time … it’s made of you,” she explains. “Just as you grow and shift, so does your voice, and you have to learn how to relate with it. I don’t think that the voice can be mastered—I don’t like thinking of it as a kind of mastery—it’s more about learning how to steward its moods and personalities, and that really takes a long time so I take voice lessons as often as I can.”

As a Senior Fellow for TED—a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas—and founder of the Arba Minch collective—a cultural exchange program that connects Ethiopia and the world through arts—Hadero is a strong believer in the ability of music and arts to unify: “There’s a moment in shows that doesn’t always happen,” she says, “where the audience that is made of 100 different bubbles becomes one big bubble—that’s something that [as people] we look for, but a lot of us don’t know how much we seek it.”


Meklit Hadero plays at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 30, at Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy 9, Felton. Tickets are $13/adv, $15/door. 603-2294.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Ocean Odyssey

Sailing the high seas from Santa Cruz to French Polynesia, Sally-Christine Rodgers documents the trials, tribulations and joys of exploring the world by boat

 

Gemini Festival of Goodwill, World Invocation Day

This entire week is a preparation by the New Group of World Servers (NGWS) for the June full moon (Tuesday) and to welcome the Forces of Reconstruction, great outer planetary forces streaming into the Earth at the Gemini Solar Festival. The Gemini Festival at the June full moon is called the Festival of Goodwill and World Invocation Day (recitation of the Great Invocation, the mantram of direction for humanity, hourly around the world). During the (12 degrees) Gemini festival, the Wesak blessing of the will-to-good is released and radiated (Gemini distributes) to humanity. When the will-to-good is received, humanity is then able to radiate goodwill to each other and to the kingdoms. The Gemini Festival is the third of the Three Spring Festivals (triangle of Force), setting the spiritual template and resources for Earth for the rest of the year (‘til next spring). This festival recognizes the true spirit of humanity—aspiring toward and seeking the will of God, dedicated to right human relation. At the full moon, the Divine nature of humanity is recognized. Christ stands with humanity, leader of his people, “the Eldest in a great family of brothers” (Romans VIII, 29.) Each year at the Gemini festival, Christ preaches the last sermon of Buddha, His brother, a sermon calling forth human and spiritual unity, represented by an outflow of love (work of the Christ) and wisdom (work of the Buddha). The forces of reconstruction stream in during the Festival, ushering in an era of pronounced creative activity, rebuilding the tangible world on new creative lines. This necessitates the total destruction of the old forms no longer useful for the new world era. Everyone is invited. Join us everyone for this Festival of Goodwill by reciting the Great Invocation.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of May 29

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

The Main Avant

Jozseph Schultz caters New Music Works’ 35th annual Avant Garden Party, plus brews for a cause

 

What will Santa Cruz be like in the future?

 society that is more awakened and realizes its own value and the beauty of the stunning Earth. Marguerite Clifford, Felton, Nutrition Health Care

 

Chesebro Wines

Piedras Blancas-Roussanne 2011

 

Real Thai Kitchen

Ratana Bowden on why Thai cuisine isn’t as spicy as everyone thinks