Known as one of Africa's most globally successful performers, Angelique Kidjo is set to turn out the place at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County on Friday. With her unique soul and savvy lyrical style, Angelique promises to bring an extraordinary performance full of moxie and exhilarating elegance.
Adrienne Arsht Center President and CEO M. John Richard is looking forward to Kidjo’s arrival in the magic city.
“Anyone who loves uplifting lyrics and music that breaks cultural boundaries is in for a real treat. As a place that celebrates diversity, I hope the South Florida community will take part in this special musical event that focuses on the beauty of cultural oneness,” Richard said.
Kidjo has the ability to mesmerize a room full of fans by simply the melody of her voice and her fructuous renditions of songs from her past musical creations.
Her exceptional talents have earned her many accolades including a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album in 2008. She’s had the opportunity to perform all over the world for dignitaries such as former South African president Nelson Mandela and political leaders throughout the continent of Africa.
She was recently called on to perform at President Barack Obama's Inaugural Peace Ball.
Songs from Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Frank Sinatra, Miriam Makeba, James Brown, Cher, Aretha Franklin, and even calypso from the Caribbean, played throughout the Kidjo household and have influenced her style, giving her an international edge all throughout Africa, the U.S, Brazil and the Caribbean.
With such prodigious musical talent, it may be difficult to believe that Kidjo once considered a career in law. However, she knew her impact on the world would require more than labyrinthine legal bureaucratic skills.
“I said to myself … my sense of true justice wouldn't be fulfilled if I become a lawyer so I decided to be a singer; and I will try with my work for people to understand that they're not different from one another,” Kidjo said.
As many artists attempt to fit their music into a more commercial realm, Kidjo stays true to her West African culture with innate pride.
“Africa is not a country … it’s a continent with a diversity of languages and people and cultures … and I represent all that, Kidjo said.
“My greatest achievement is to go across the planet touching people no matter what language they speak. That is the power of music.”
Kidjo looks forward to performing in Miami and getting the audience engaged in song and dance. She plans to feature some of her classics along with a few tracks from her new album, OYO to be released in April.
“Music brings us together, but after the music is over, you go back to your home, to your neighborhood, knowing that you can make a difference. You have to be proud of who you are. Whether you were born in America or Africa, you can celebrate life,” Kidjo concluded.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Angelique Kidjo in Concert
WHEN: March 5, 2010 at 8 p.m.
WHERE: Knight Concert Hall; Adrienne Arsht Center 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
COST: $30 – $60
For tickets visit www.arshtcenter.org, or call the Box Office at (305) 949-6722.