(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – Grammy Award-winning Afropop singer-songwriter Angélique Kidjo performs at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center on Saturday, February 23 at 8pm, her first appearance in this town in the more than 10 years since her 2002 appearance at the annual Berkshire Mountain Music Festival – or BerkFest – at SkiButternut.
A native of the West African nation of Benin, Kidjo is noted for her eclectic style, blending traditional Beninese styles with jazz, gospel, Latin, American R&B, funk and rock styles, and for her various charitable works since becoming a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 2002.
The extent of Kidjo’s musical breadth is illustrated by songs she has recorded, including George Gershwin’s “Summertime,” Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Child” and the Rolling Stones’s “Gimme Shelter,” as well as artists she has worked with, including Dave Matthews, Alicia Keys, Branford Marsalis, Peter Gabriel, Bono, Carlos Santana, John Legend, Herbie Hancock and Cassandra Wilson.
Kidjo began performing with her mother’s theater troupe at age six, gaining an appreciation for theater and dance at an early age. Growing as an artist, she began singing in school, finding success as a teenager covering works by the legendary Miriam Makeba. Shortly thereafter, she began recording.
In addition to her work as a vocalist, Kidjo is a tireless campaigner for women’s health and education in Africa and serves as a UNICEF Peace Ambassador. Her philanthropic work was recently recognized when the BBC named her as one of 50 African icons. Additionally, the Guardian named Kidjo to its list of 100 most inspiring women in the world.
Tickets are $25 to $65, with $15 Mahaiwe ArtSmart tickets available for patrons age 30 and younger. The Mahaiwe is located at 14 Castle Street in Great Barrington, Mass. Box office hours are Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 6:00pm and three hours before show times. For tickets and information, visit Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center or call 413.528.0100.
Located in downtown Great Barrington, Massachusetts, the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center is the year-round presenter of world-class music, dance, theater, classic films, “Live in HD” broadcasts, and arts education programs for the southern Berkshires and neighboring regions. The intimate jewel box of a theater opened in 1905 and has been in continuous operation for over 100 years. In 2005, the theater experienced a renaissance as a beautifully restored 681-seat venue to offer a broad range of cultural and community events.