Angelique Kidjo

Hailing from the West African nation of Benin, genre-bending vocalist Angelique Kidjo has spent the better part of the last twenty years away from her home continent yet still maintains her status as one of Africa’s most visible luminaries. It’s quite telling that even though Kidjo’s latest album Õÿö consists largely of cover tunes by Western artists like Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Curtis Mayfield, and Otis Redding, Kidjo manages to transport listeners back to Benin – albeit Benin as seen through a young Kidjo falling in love with Western music. A tribute to the music that inspired Kidjo early on, the new album also touches on the work of legendary South African singer Miriam Makeba, traditional Beninese music, and songs from Bollywood and Hollywood alike. Even with other people’s material, Kidjo demonstrates her usual expertise in weaving styles together into a heavily jazz-inflected sound that is unmistakably her own. SABY REYES-KULKARNI

Thu., Feb. 25, 7:30 p.m., 2010

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