MIAMI — Hot on the heels of her PBS special (which featured the dancers from FELA! onstage with the artist) and her new album release, the internationally acclaimed recording artist Angelique Kidjo returned for one performance only on Friday, May 31 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.
Called “Africa’s Premier Diva” by Time magazine, and recognized as “one of Africa’s most globally successful performers!” by Billboard, Kidjo brought her unique blend of African and Western for a night in the John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall that celebrates the beauty of diversity, as well as the unity of cultures.
Kidjo’s lush sounds meld the rhythms of Africa with a soaring dramatic voice, creating an internationally-acclaimed repertoire of rich music and sweeping melodies. Her engagement at the Arsht Center will feature new songs as well as audience favorites such as Agolo, Afirika and Batonga.
Kidjo’s internationally celebrated repertoire includes collaborations with artists including Carlos Santana, Peter Gabriel, Alicia Keys, Josh Groban, Joss Stone and others.
Her 2008 album, Djin Djin, won the Grammy for Best Contemporary World Music album at the 50th Grammy Awards and the NAACP Image Award for “Outstanding World Album” in 2008, while her 2010 release OYO was nominated in the same category at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards ceremony.
Her new album, Spirit Rising, which was featured on the PBS special, showcases Kidjo’s breathtaking voice and exuberant spirit experienced at her magical live performances.
Spirit Rising was recorded in Boston when Kidjo partnered with Boston’s public television station, WGBH, for a captivating live concert featuring special guests Josh Groban, Dianne Reeves, Branford Marsalis and Ezra Koenig (Vampire Weekend). The record features a collection of Kidjo originals and covers including the Curtis Mayfield classic Move On Up.
“The special captures the African singer in fierce form,” The Boston Globe said of the performance.
Born in the West African country of Benin, Kidjo was included by the BBC in its list of “Africa’s Most Iconic Figures.” The Guardian has listed her as one of the “Top 100 Most Inspiring Women in the World.” In October 2011, Forbes listed Angelique as the first woman in their list of the “40 Most Powerful Celebrities in Africa.”
Known for her dynamic and uplifting music, she has translated her distinctive work in the arts to that of philanthropy, by promoting education for girls in Africa through her foundation, Batonga, and as a UNICEF Goodwill ambassador.
Kidjo has participated in several global events including the first 46664 Concert in Cape Town hosted by Nelson Mandela, the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, and the 2010 FIFA World Cup Kick-Off Concert in Johannesburg.
“Kidjo’s appeal cuts across not only genres, but also generations,” said The Globe. “Kidjo proves she can rattle the rafters.”