Musician and activist Angélique Kidjo returning to Yale for talk, film screening
Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, and performer Angélique Kidjo will visit Yale on Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 27 and 28 for two public events.
On Tuesday at 7 p.m., Kidjo will host a screening of “Mama Africa,” a film about African music icon Mirian Makeba, who was a major influence on Kidjo’s work. Kidjo will lead a post-screening question-and-answer session. Co-sponsored by Yale Film Studies and Films at Whitney, the event will take place at the Whitney Humanities Center, 53 Wall St.
Kidjo will discuss “Perspectives on Music and Activism” at a master’s tea on Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Ezra Stiles College, 19 Tower Pkwy. Her talk is sponsored by the Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.
Both events are open to the public free of charge.
While in New Haven, the award-winning artist will receive the International Festival of Arts and Ideas’ fifth annual Visionary Leadership Award at a luncheon held in her honor. The presentation will include an on-stage conversation between Kidjo and Marco Werman, host and executive producer of the Public Radio International-WGBH-BBC radio news magazine “The World.”
Kidjo’s accomplishments include a 20-year discography, thousands of concerts around the world, and collaborations with notable musicians from the jazz and pop worlds — including Carlos Santana, Bono, John Legend, Josh Groban, Peter Gabriel, Branford Marsalis, Dianne Reeves, Roy Hargrove, and Alicia Keys. Kidjo’s 2008 recording, “Djin Djin,” won a Grammy for Best Contemporary World Music Album, and her last studio recording, “Oyo,” was nominated in the same category. Her most recent recording, “Eve,” has been nominated for a 2015 Grammy Award.
A UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2002, Kidjo is an advocate for girls’ education and humanitarian causes. Kidjo is also the co-founder of the Batonga Foundation, an organization that supports both secondary-school and higher education for girls in Africa. For her advocacy, Kidjo has been named among the “40 Most Powerful Celebrities In Africa” by Forbes Magazine, one of 50 African icons by the BBC, and among the world’s 100 most inspiring women by the Guardian.
The Visionary Leadership Award recognizes the late Jean M. Handley’s leadership as founding director of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas. Prior awardees include Sheila Nevins, documentary film producer and president of HBO Documentary Films; Charlayne Hunter-Gault, award-winning journalist and civil rights leader; Jill Abramson, journalist and first female executive editor of the New York Times; and Zainab Salbi, pioneering founder and CEO of Women For Women International.