From the Media Capital, to the Global Ethiopian Community
Saturday October 16th 2021

How San Francisco helped local musician Meklit Hadero find her voice

San Francisco musician Meklit Hadero has quite an impressive resume: she was born in Ethiopia, and lived all over the map until she landed in San Francisco almost six years ago. She is a commissioned composer by the local Brava Theater, and was a resident artist with the de Young museum. Her work to unite artists from the Ethiopian Diaspora landed her the honorable global TED fellowship last year.

She is a self-proclaimed cultural activist — promoting community involvement in the arts at the artist-run Red Poppy Art House and at the Mission Arts and Performance Project, a bimonthly night of performances in communal spaces around the Mission district.

Last year she took time off to complete her debut album, “On a Day Like This,” which came out last month. Hadero’s sound is already being compared with that of Nina Simone — but just five years ago, Hadero wasn’t a rising star, but a receptionist with a dream. She says her move to San Francisco was the step that led her to her true calling.

KALW’s Martina Castro met up with Meklit Hadero at the Red Poppy Art House to hear how that artist-run space, and others around the Mission helped her find her voice.

Meklit Hadero plays Thursday May 13th at Bimbos in San Francisco for the launch of her new CD, “On a Day Like This”.

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