Angélique Kidjo’s album Celia, a thrilling remake of the songs of Celia Cruz – one of Kidjo’s lifelong inspirations - is out today (Verve/Universal France), and is getting glowing reviews with a number of interviews and appearances on NPR and PBS on the horizon. 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 album was just featured as an NPR First Listen:
“Kidjo's reinterpretations rearrange the molecules of songs that many of us know by heart. The results are glorious…Celia Cruz's music and her entire being was a reminder of the presence of Africa in Cuba. Angélique Kidjo's Celia musically closes that circle with reverence and more than a little love.”
NPR Music has also posted an extensive interview with Angélique and Alt.Latino host Felix Contreras, where they dive deep into Angélique’s relationship to Celia and her music (Angelique first saw her perform in Benin at a young age and later met her and performed with her in France).
The Guardian has also deemed Celia their Album of the Month, calling it “magnificent” in a 4 out of 5 star review.
Angélique also just discussed the new album and her career on WNYC’s All Of It with Allison Stewart, and on Consequence of Sound’s This Must Be The Gig podcast.
Angélique is joined by a cast of musicians including Fela Kuti drummer Tony Allen, bassist Meshell Ndegeocello, saxophonist Shabaka Hutchins and his band Sons of Kemet, and the Ganbge Brass Brand 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).
Listen to “Bemba Colora” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYrW71zQ8ag
The album is available on all DSPs and physical retailers:
Angélique will tour various projects through 2019 and she will open for Vampire Weekend at Madison Square Garden on September 6.
Celia track list:
2. La Vida Es Un Carnaval
4. Baila Yemaja
5. Toro Mata
8. Bemba Colora
9. Oya Diosa
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)
Aug 31 - Toronto, ON - Harbourfront Centre
Sep 6 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden (supporting Vampire Weekend)
Feb 14 - St Louis, MO - Sheldon Concert Hall
Mar 14 – New York, NY – Carnegie Hall - Stern Auditorium