“Africa’s premier diva” Angelique to sing Oct. 16

With joy and passion, Angelique embodies the spirit of Africa. She will perform in UNC’s Memorial Hall on Sunday, Oct. 16 at 7:30 p.m.

Through her music, life and commitment to advocacy she exemplifies unity, peace and diversity.

Kidjo has been deemed “Africa’s premier diva” by Time Magazine, and the moniker speaks to the singular career and life she has forged: Like Miriam Makeba was before her, Kidjo is the continent’s most internationally celebrated female musical exponent. And yet, the GRAMMY-winning artist has lived outside Africa for more than two decades. She lives in New York City, where she is an active member of the music scene, and she reaches people around the world with her recordings, tours and philanthropic work.

On 2010’s Õÿö, the veteran Benin-born singer is joined by a backup group — guitarist Lionel Loueke (also a Benin native), drummer Kendrick Scott, bassist Christian McBride and percussionist Ibrahim “Thiokho” Diagne — along with several guest artists. The opener, “Zelie,” written by the Togolese singer Bella Bellow, features Kidjo’s powerful vocals accompanied by Hendrix-like guitar tones. Santana’s “Samba Pa Ti,” which is nicely rendered in Yoruba, has an effective string arrangement, mellow horns, and a solo by trumpeter Roy Hargrove. The great Curtis Mayfield is represented by “Move On Up,” a track that spotlights appearances by Bono and John Legend. “Lakutshona Llanga” is a lullaby made famous by Miriam Makeba, while “Kelele” injects Highlife into the album’s flow. Diane Reeves comes onboard for “Monfe Ran E,” a version of the Aretha Franklin classic, “Baby I Love You.”

For ticket information, contact the Memorial Hall Box Office at 919-843-3333.

Published Oct. 12, 2011.