(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) — Grammy Award-winning Afropop artist Angelique Kidjo brings her unique world music blend to the Hunter Center at MASS MoCA for an intimate acoustic performance on Saturday, February 13, at 8pm.
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. 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.
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.
Recognized world-wide as one of the most inspiring and influential women in music, Kidjo conveys a universal message to all fighting for their rights. Seeking to upend negative representations of her beloved homeland Benin, she encourages the world to embrace the joy of Africa. Positivity shines through in her songs such as “Djin Djin,” about the sound of an African bell tolling to meet the new day.
Kidjo received her first Grammy nomination for her song “Agolo”, a dance-pop number focused on environmental issues. Her music more typically celebrates African identity, with a special focus on African women, and Kidjo honors her heritage through the inclusion of village choirs in her songs.
Not only does her music inspire activism in its audience, but Kidjo is also a UNICEF International Goodwill Ambassador, and founder of Batonga Foundation for girl’s education in Africa, helping young women realize positive futures through access to education. Kidjo has become a feminist icon providing a voice for women’s struggles. Her Grammy Award-winning album “Eve” is dedicated to the women of Africa for their beauty and resilience. Kidjo’s star-studded collaborations include Carlos Santana, Ziggy Marley, Peter Gabriel, John Legend, and Bono.
Dinner will be available at Lickety Split before and during the show. Tickets are $32 in advance, $30 for students (in advance), $39 day of, and $49 preferred. Tickets for all events are available through the MASS MoCA box office located on Marshall Street in North Adams, open 11am to 5pm every day except Tuesdays through spring 2016. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 x1 during box office hours or purchased online at MASS MoCA. All events are held rain or shine.