© 2024 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

International superstar Angélique Kidjo performs with the New Haven Symphony

Grammy award winner Angelique Kidjo will kick off New Haven's International Festival of Arts and Ideas.
Adams and Knight
Grammy award winner Angelique Kidjo will kick off New Haven's International Festival of Arts and Ideas.

At a Tiny Desk Concert last year at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., Angélique Kidjo and her band ripped through a four-song set. In between songs, Kidjo reminded NPR staffers gathered for the concert about the challenges human beings face connecting with people who aren’t like them.

“For there is only one humanity,” Kidjo said. “There is only one Earth, there is only one ecosystem. And we all breathe the same air, north to south, east to west. Please, let’s be mindful of each other. Being a human being isn’t about color, it is beyond color. And when we get stuck on the color, we make mistakes, we lose opportunity, and we go backward. Let’s move forward.”

Kidjo performs in Connecticut June 10 in a free concert with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, on the green in New Haven. It's part of theInternational Festival of Arts & Ideas.

Kidjo has been earning accolades for her musical exploration of the African diaspora since the 1980s, including five Grammys. Earlier this year, she received the prestigious international Polar Music Prizein Sweden, joining such musical greats as Paul Simon, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and Stevie Wonder in receiving the award. But in an interviewwith NPR’s “1A” last month, Kidjo said she doesn’t concern herself with fame and awards.

“My passion is music. My breathing is music. My being is doing music,” Kidjo said. “And therefore, as long as I'm happy doing it, I just gonna keep doing it. Whatever comes out of it, fine. As long as I make people happy, give people strength, give people purpose, I'm OK.”

Humanitarian efforts are also a passion of Kidjo. Since 2002, she has traveled Africa as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. Through her Batonga Foundation Kidjo is working to empower and educate young women in sub-Saharan Africa, including her home country of Benin. Time magazine named Kidjo “One of the 100 most Influential People of 2021.”

Ray Hardman is Connecticut Public’s Arts and Culture Reporter. He is the host of CPTV’s Emmy-nominated original series Where Art Thou? Listeners to Connecticut Public Radio may know Ray as the local voice of Morning Edition, and later of All Things Considered.

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.

Related Content