Saturday, January 7, 2012

Interview with Meklit Hadero, the Nile Project and bringing East Africa together through its own music

I am so excited about the Nile Project. I've offered to help out in any way that I can (I already donated some money). This is what being an ethnomusicologist is all about!

Local singer/songwriter Meklit Hadero was born in Ethiopia. Mina Girgis, ethnomusicologist and Director of the Bay Area community music center Zambaleta, was born in Egypt. Over a beer last summer, the two realized that they have something in common other than a love for music: a desire to learn more about each other’s musical culture and a river that connected the countries of their birth.

From there came the Nile Project: a platform to bring together musicians from all of the countries that share the Nile: Egypt, Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Uganda. The plan is to make a record and tour the world with this music. And not only will they tour the world, they will tour the Nile, playing the music for their neighbors along the river. They will also be joined by scientists and local specialists who can share other information about the river and be part of theTed talks.

The project is in its infant stages and requires a tremendous amount of research: Who are the musicians? What are the songs? What are the logistics of touring the Nile? (There are after all alligators and rapids along the way.)

Meklit and Mina need your help to get to East Africa for the first research trip this spring and are raising 10 thousand dollars on kickstarter to help cover the costs. But more importantly, they want to get the word out about the project.

Click here to read my interview with Meklit and learn more about the Nile Project.

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