Angélique Kidjo

Montgomery County Community College - Friday, March 23, 2012 at 8:00PM

In celebration of 25 years of the Lively Arts Series, the finale in the series called "Africa: The Call and Response" was an superb performance by Grammy award-winning music recording artist Angelique Kidjo. Ms. Kidjo. Ms. Kidjo turned the Science Center Theatre into an “Afro Cuban and Afro Soul” dance party!

Ms. Kidjo opened her set singing an accapella Beninese traditional song that she would later tell the audience was the first thing she ever sang in public. She began clapping her hands in a “clave-like” accompaniment, her powerful voice filling the room as her four piece band joined in on the clapping, then took up their instruments.

Angelique Kidjo and band played a more than 90 minute set that was heavily mixed with jazz, funk, traditional African folk and even Bollywood style. Kidjo showed off her energetic moves, charisma and powerful vocals. The band’s style and groove had the audience on their feet from the start of the performance to finish.

She dedicated a very beauty and moving tune entitled “Petite Fleur” to her father and to the young African women who have been subjected to genital mutilation. Other tunes included “Kelele,” the high energy funk version of Curtis Mayfield’s “Move On Up”.

Keeping the energy high, Ms. Kidjo called audience members on to the stage. Her percussionist began pounding the drum while audience members enjoyed dancing “free-style” to the beat. Ms. Kidjo commented that we all should dance and enjoy ourselves. The performance was exciting!

More photos from the event are found in Ben Johnson's gallery http://www.benjohnsonjazzphotos.com

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Community Authors

Karen Brundage-Johnson, PhD.