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Tiny Desk's 1000th Concert: The Great Angélique Kidjo

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Bob Boilen | September 12, 2022

Today we celebrate the 1,000th concert the Tiny Desk team has captured and published, and I can’t imagine a more inspiring spirit to help us celebrate than Angélique Kidjo. Originally from the West African country of Benin, the singer and activist plays a crucial role in spreading the music of Africa and the spirit of love in all that she does.

When I started the Tiny Desk series in April 2008, I never imagined its impact. So many artists’ voices have been raised and shared with music fans worldwide through these performances. When Angélique was preparing for her Tiny Desk concert, she thought it would be a good idea to watch some past concerts for inspiration. It’s then she saw Sampa The Great’s home concert from Zambia and immediately reached out in hopes of collaborating. Now here they are, at NPR, brought together by a series that has been blessed with so much talent and a global audience with big ears and open arms.

Angélique Kidjo’s band drives the energy and melody as they perform songs from her 2021 album Mother Nature and then dig back a decade to perform the song “Afirika,” encouraging strength for the African people. The celebration concludes as Angélique Kidjo pays tribute to her friend and mentor Miriam Makeba by performing her 1967 global hit, “Pata Pata.” It was a lovely way to shine a light on how we can impact each other’s lives through music.

“Mother Nature”
“Free & Equal” (feat. Sampa The Great)
“Pata Pata”

Angélique Kidjo: vocals
Sampa The Great: vocals
Cassondra James Kellam: vocals
Stephanie Fisher Alvarenga: vocals
Dominic James: guitar, vocals
Michael Olatuja: bass, vocals
Etienne Stadwijk: keyboard
Edgardo “Yayo” Serka: drums
Magatte Sow: percussion

Producer/Series Creator: Bob Boilen
Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin
Director/Editor: Kara Frame
Series Producer: Bobby Carter
Videographers: Kara Frame, Michael Zamora, Pierre Kattar, Alanté Serene
Audio Assistant: Natasha Branch
Production Assistants: Jill Britton, Joby Tanseco
Tiny Desk Team: Suraya Mohamed, Marissa Lorusso, Hazel Cills, Ashley Pointer, Maia Stern
VP, Visuals and Music: Keith Jenkins
Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann

#tinydesk #nprmusic #angeliquekidjo

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