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AAA Music | 25 July 2024

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Angélique Kidjo – Live @ The Royal Festival Hall

| On 19, Nov 2014

LJF14AngeliqueKidjo3 Credit-Mark Mawston

Friday 14th November, London

Grammy Award winning Angélique Kidjo is an impressive, iconic figure…

As a Beninese singer songwriter and activist, known worldwide, she fuses diverse musical influences such as jazz, soul, gospel, Latin, Afropop, Congolese rumba and Caribbean zouk. According to Forbes Magazine she’s amongst “the 40 most powerful celebrities in Africa.”

At this EFG London Jazz Festival evening Angelique performed songs from her 11th album Eve, named after her Mum and celebrating the spirit of the women of Africa. She was joined by Nigerian singer Asa and the Mike King Collective, where a ten strong choir combined with guitars and percussion. Support was from Ibeyi, a French Cuban musical duo with twin sisters Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Diaz, daughters of Buena Vista Social Club’s late Anga Diaz.

A rousing opener ‘Ebile’, blended classical and indigenous African music and this was followed by the warm, relaxed and rhythmical ‘Bana’ and reggae sounding ‘Kamoushou’ about ‘Oro’, the God of wind. ‘Shango Wa’, a funky, jubilant and energetic song was based on the ‘Yoruba’ God of thunder from West Africa, a supreme and powerful being that was both man and woman

Thoughtful and reflective ‘Cauri’ touched on the difficult social issue of forced marriages which affects so many cultures and ‘Eva’ was an upbeat and enjoyable song about friendship between women. ‘Bomba’ vibrantly celebrated the sense of identity and pride African women feel through wearing traditional dress.

Angelique was encouraged to write many of her exuberant and expressive songs by visiting small Kenyan villages and experiencing locals singing cheerfully despite the problems that they had. She’s internationally respected for her personal vision and political courage. The joy and boldness of her music is rooted in relationships and how people find inspiration in each other.

Anthony Weightman