Angélique Kidjo’s Afrobeat Take On Celia Cruz’s Famous “Bemba Colora” Features Sax/Tuba/Drums Trio Sons Of Kemet | Shore Fire Media

29 March, 2019Print

Angélique Kidjo’s Afrobeat Take On Celia Cruz’s Famous “Bemba Colora” Features Sax/Tuba/Drums Trio Sons Of Kemet

Celia Out April 19 On Verve/Universal France


Angélique Kidjo has unveiled a second song from her forthcoming album Celia, out April 19 on Verve/Universal Music France. 

Angelique’s new album Celia pays tribute to Celia Cruz, “the Queen of Salsa,” and explores Cruz’s African roots. It is a testament to Kidjo’s lifelong adoration for the Cuban-born Cruz; Kidjo first saw Cruz perform when she was growing up in Benin. This take on “Bemba Colora,” one of Cruz’s famous hits, features British saxophonist Shabaka Hutchins and his fiery tuba/drums trio Sons of Kemet. Kidjo soars on this fast-paced take, heavily laced with afrobeat touchstones including the farfisa organ. “Bemba Colora,” an anti-racist rumba, was recorded by Celia for her 1966 album Son Con Guaguanco that was initially released on Tito Puente’s Tico label (Puente plays on the album as well).

Listen to “Bemba Colora” and Pre-Order “Celia” Here:


On Celia, Angélique explores the African roots of the Cuban-born Cruz and reimagines selections from Cruz’s extraordinary career in surprising new ways, spiked with sounds and rhythms from Cuba, Africa, the Middle East, Brazil, America and beyond. The recording features Fela Kuti drummer and Afrobeat legend Tony Allen on drums, Meshell Ndegeocello on bass, and the Ganbge Brass Band from Benin.      

Celia was recorded in New York and Paris, produced and arranged by David Donatien and mixed by Russell Elevado (D’Angelo, Kamasi Washington). 

Angélique Kidjo has been recognized as one of the world’s 100 most influential women by The Guardian and dubbed as “Africa’s Premiere Diva” by Time magazine. Her last release, 2018’s radical reimagining of the Talking Heads album Remain In Light was deemed “transformative” by The New York Times, “visionary” by NPR Music and “one of the year’s most vibrant albums” by The Washington Post.

Angélique will tour various projects through 2019 and she will open for Vampire Weekend at Madison Square Garden on September 6. 


Celia track list:

1. Cucala

2. La Vida Es Un Carnaval

3. Sahara

4. Baila Yemaja

5. Toro Mata

6. Elegua

7. Quimbara

8. Bemba Colora

9. Oya Diosa

10. Yemaja


Tour dates:

Apr 3 – Burlington, VT – Flynn Center (Remain In Light)

Apr 6 – Savannah, GA – Savannah Music Festival (Remain In Light)

Apr 8 – Durham, NC – Carolina Theatre (Remain In Light)

Apr 11 – Kingston, NY – Ulster Performing Arts Center (Remain In Light)

Apr 12 – Princeton, NJ – McCarter Theatre Center (Remain In Light)

May 9 –London, UK – Southbank Centre (Lodger Symphony)

May 11 – Stavanger, NO – Stravanger Konserthus

May 12 - Trondheim, NO - Byscenen

May 14 – Paris, FR – Bataclan (Celia)

May 17 – Aix-en-provence, FR – Grand Theatre de Provence (Celia)

May 22 - Luxembourg - Philharmonie Luxembourg (Sings! symphonic show)

May 25 - Coutances, FR - Jazz sous les Pommiers

May 28 - Bergen, NO - Grieghallen (Remain In Light)

Jun 1 – San Antonio, TX – Jo Long Theatre

Jun 8 – Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Bowl (Celia)

Jul 6 - Kongsberg, NO - Kongsberg Jazz Festival (Sing The Truth)

Jul 9 – Stuttgart, DE – Jazzopen (Sing The Truth)

Jul 13 - Northampton, MA - Green River Festival (Remain In Light)

Jul 14 – Lowell, MA – Boarding House Park (Remain In Light)

Jul 19 – Pori, FI – Pori Jazz (Remain In Light)

Aug 2 – Crozon, FR – Festival Du Bout Du Monde (Celia)

Sep 6 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden (supporting Vampire Weekend)

Mar 14 – New York, NY – Carnegie Hall - Stern Auditorium