Angelique Kidjo Returns To Carnegie Hall To Debut REMAIN IN LIGHT, 5/5
Three-time Grammy Award-winning vocalist Angélique Kidjo returns to Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage on Friday, May 5, at 8:00 p.m., for the world premiere performance of Remain in Light, her reimagined take on the Talking Heads' iconic album.
Speaking about her inspiration behind the project, Kidjo says, "As Remain in Light was influenced by the music of my continent, I want to pay back the homage and create my own African take on Talking Heads' songs. We all know that rock music came from the blues and thus from Africa. Now is the time to bring rock back to Africa, connect our minds, and bring all our sounds to a new level of sharing and understanding."
Kidjo will be joined on stage by special guests and an all-star band, including keyboardist Jason Lindner; guitarist Lionel Loueke; vocalists Nona Hendryx and Kiki Hawkins; guitarist Brandon "Taz" Niederauer; the horn section from the Brooklyn-based band Antibalas; and singers from theKuumunity Collaborations Choir. The performance features dynamic new arrangements to classic songs such as "Crosseyed and Painless," "Once in a Lifetime," and "Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)," reinterpreted with electrifying rhythms, African guitars, and layered backing vocals.
Released on October 8, 1980, Talking Heads' Remain in Light was a revolution of pop music innovation, pushing sonic boundaries with sampled and looped grooves inspired by legendary Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti. The album demonstrates that both the Talking Heads and producer Brian Eno experimented with African polyrhythms while simultaneously drawing lyrical inspiration from African academic literature. Certified gold by the RIAA and consistently ranked among the most important and influential albums of all time, Remain in Light remains an eternal milestone, its brave vision and extraordinary power still as daring and innovative as ever before.
About the Artist
Angélique Kidjo is one of the greatest artists in international music today. A creative force with thirteen albums to her name, Time magazine has called her "Africa's premier diva." The BBC has included her in its list of the continent's 50 most iconic figures, and in 2011, The Guardian listed her as one of their Top 100 Most Inspiring Women in the World. Forbes magazine has ranked Angélique as the first woman in their list of the Most Powerful Celebrities in Africa. She is the recent recipient of the prestigious 2015 Crystal Award given by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and the 2016 Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award.
As a performer, her striking voice, stage presence, and fluency in multiple cultures and languages have won respect from her peers and expanded her following across national borders. Kidjo has cross-pollinated the West African traditions of her childhood in Benin with elements of American R&B, funk, and jazz, as well as influences from Europe and Latin America.
This year brings us Angélique's newest project, her interpretation of The Talking Heads' classic 1980 album, Remain in Light. She will record her version of the album with superstar producer Jeff Bhasker (Kanye West, Jay Z, Drake, Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, and Taylor Swift), creating thrilling new arrangements of the iconic songs. Kidjo brings the musical extravaganza to concert halls and festivals across the globe including the premiere performance at Carnegie Hall and US festival debut at Bonnaroo in later this year.
Angélique's star-studded album Djin Djin won a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Album in 2008, and her album Oyo was nominated for the same award in 2011. In January 2014, Angélique's first book, a memoir titled Spirit Rising: My Life, My Music (Harper Collins) and her twelfth album, Eve(Savoy/429 Records), were released to critical acclaim. Eve later went on to with the Grammy Award for Best World Music Album in 2015. Her last recording, an all orchestral album Angélique Kidjo SINGS with the Orchestre Philharmonique Du Luxembourg (Savoy/429 Records) won a Grammy for Best World Music Album in 2016.
Angélique has gone on to perform this genre-bending work with several international orchestras and symphonies, including the Bruckner Orchestra, The Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and the Philharmonie de Paris. In 2014, the undisputed "Queen of African music" closed Carnegie Hall'sUBUNTU festival with an inspirational performance that had the audience-including Archbishop Desmond Tutu-standing, singing, and dancing. Her collaboration with Philip Glass, title IFÉ: Three Yorùbá Songs, made its US debut to a sold out concert with the San Francisco Symphony in June 2015. In addition to performing this new orchestral concert, Angélique continues to tour globally performing the high-energy concert she's become famous for with her four-piece band. Her rousing live show was recently captured at the revered Austin City Limits and made its television debut in January 2016.
Angélique also travels the world advocating on behalf of children in her capacity as a UNICEF and OXFAM Goodwill Ambassador. She created her own charitable foundation, Batonga, dedicated to support the education of young girls in Africa.
Friday, May 5 at 8:00 p.m.
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
ANGÉLIQUE KIDJO AND FRIENDS
Kiki Hawkins, Vocals
Nona Hendryx, Vocals
Dominic James, Guitar
Lionel Loueke, Guitar
Ben Zwerin, Bass Guitar
Jason Lindner, Keyboard
Yayo Serka, Drums
Magatte Sow, African Percussion
Members of Antibalas
Kuumunity Collaborations Choir
Special Guests to be announced
REMAIN IN LIGHT
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(Photo Credit: Carnegie Hall)