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Saturday, June 21,[masked]:00PM
Nourse Theater, San Francisco
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Born in the West African country of Benin, raised in the busy port city of Cotonou, Angelique Kidjo was surrounded by a multi-hued world of music, dance and art - from the rich sounds, rhythms and story telling of traditional Beninese culture to the far ranging fascinations of international pop, rock, blues, Latin music and jazz. Add to that the blessing of parents who honored creativity, who supported Angelique's artistic goals unconditionally, encouraging her to give free rein to the talents she began to reveal as a six year old.
Expressing those talents to the fullest, drinking in all the music around her, transforming it all into a uniquely personal vision, she became a highly visible international artist while she was still in her ‘20s. Throughout the ‘90s and beyond, she has performed globally, winning honor after honor, including a Grammy, while using her visibility to campaign for women's rights, provide educational opportunities for girls, and support environmental initiatives.
On Eve, her Savoy Records debut named for her own mother as well as the mythical "mother of all living," the Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter builds on her ever evolving legacy with a 13-track, three interlude set of melodically rich, rhythmically powerful expressions of female empowerment. These songs become all the more intimate and emotionally urgent with Kidjo's dynamic collaborations with traditional women's choirs from Kenya and various cities and villages in Benin. The singer and her newfound native vocalists sing in a wide array of native Beninese languages, including Fon (Kidjo's first language), Yoruba, Goun, and Mina.... "Eve is an album of remembrance of African women I grew up with and a testament to the pride and strength that hide behind the smile that masks everyday troubles," says Kidjo, whose accolades include a 20 year discography, thousands of concerts around the world and being named "Africa's premier diva" (Time Magazine) and "the undisputed Queen of African Music" (Daily Telegraph). "They exuded a positivity and grace in a time of hardship. These songs bring me back to the women I shared my life with, including my mother, grandmother and cousins."
"I've spoken for many years about the beauty of African women, and I don't need to talk anymore about it because on this recording I am letting the voices of the women show their beauty to the world," she adds. "My goal is to offer a perspective on Africa that is different from the miserable one so many people seem to accept as fact. My home continent has become a magnet for many negative perceptions about women, and Eve is all about showcasing the positivity they bring to their villages, cities, culture and the world."
As any of her numerous fans will be quick to report, Angelique Kidjo performing live is one of the most awesome experiences in all of contemporary music. Perhaps because it's as exciting to her as it is to her listeners. "I'm so happy when I'm on stage," says Angelique. "Being on stage is what makes every singer/songwriter's life worth it. Singing in the shower is only for yourself. But if you write and perform music for other people, you also have to be able to make them part of the music. The audience gives me energy, so I have to give it back. If I kept it, I wouldn't be able to sleep for two days."