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Ethio-Jazz Vocalist, Songwriter and Cultural Activist MEKLIT Shares Release New EP Ethio Blue

In Editor Picks, Entertainment
April 24, 2024
Ethio-Jazz Vocalist, Songwriter and Cultural Activist MEKLIT Shares Release New EP Ethio Blue
March 8th, 2024: Today the visionary Ethiopian American vocalist, composer, and cultural activist Meklit has released Ethio Blue, a prescient six-song collection attuned to inner landscapes. Recorded with GRAMMY-winning songwriter / producer Dan Wilson, Ethio Blue is powered by an array of Ethio Jazz-inspired grooves, while presenting some of Meklit’s most personal songwriting to date. Ethio Blue is currently available for sale here.

 

Meklit previously released the single “Ethio Blue,” an homage to Mongo Santamaria’s seminal hit “Afro-Blue,” in honor of the rich legacy bequeathed by her forebearers. This followed “Antidote”, a bouncing ode to emotional wisdom and self-knowledge, powered by an array of funk, arpeggios, and Ethio Jazz.

 

“The music of Ethio Blue was designed to “heal ourselves and nourish our hearts,” writes Meklit. “I realized I need to make a record reminding us – myself included – of the power we have and the spirit of resiliency that can refresh us.”

 

On Ethio Blue, Meklit’s vision is channeled through the prowess of her longtime band, which includes Ethiopian pianist/keyboardist Kibrom Birhane, saxophone maestro Howard Wiley, drummer Colin Douglas, percussionist Marco Peris Coppola, and bassists Sam Bevan and Miles Jay. Guest artists featured on Ethio Blue include legendary Macedonian clarinetist Ismail Lumanovski, Los Angeles singer/songwriter Sara Mulford on synth and keyboard, and Dan Wilson on OP-1 synth.

 

The EP follows the release of Meklit’s acclaimed, hard-grooving 2017 album When the People Move, the Music Moves Too. When the People Move, the Music Moves Too, has been acclaimed by Vibe, New York Magazine, Popmatters 

 

In 2020 she launched Movement, a transmedia storytelling initiative that lives at the intersection of migration and music. Movement exists as a syndicated podcast and radio show (airing regularly on PRX’s The World to an audience of 2.5M listeners), as well as an ongoing series of live events which brings the conversation before live audiences. For Meklit, Movement stems from her own youth as a refugee, and her hunger for new narratives of migration driven by the folks most impacted by it. It is an opportunity to honor the vastness of immigrant experiences, including themes of joy, curiosity, ancestral wisdom and epiphany, even while making space for the very real presence of trauma, difficulty and pain. 

 

Meklit has collaborated with renowned artists such as Kronos Quartet, Andrew Bird, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and the late creator of funk music, Pee Wee Ellis. Meklit is a National Geographic Explorer, a TED Senior Fellow, and a former Artist-in-Residence at Harvard University and NYU. She is the co-founder of the visionary pan-African Nile Project, a featured voice in UN Women’s theme song and the winner of the 2021 global FEST Artist Award.

 

With Ethio Blue, Meklit continues to open her arms to the world with a sound gleaned from Addis Ababa, Los Angeles, New Orleans, San Francisco and beyond. But the frontier she embraces with her new music is the vast and mysterious interiors of the human heart.

 

Meklit Tour Dates:
03/09/24 – San Francisco, CA – Brava! Theater – EP release show
04/04/24 – Claremont, CA – Scripps College
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DJ Kamal Mustafa
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DJ Kamal Mustafa is a Music Producer, DJ, Pakistani Filmmaker, News Editor of EMEA Trribune and Journalist.

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