Angelique Kidjo award ceremony and singing in duo with guitarist Dominic James at French Embassy New York May 11, 2011 filmed by Jon Hammond of HammondCast KYOU Radio
Special appearance also by Blue Note recording artist Lionel Loueke also originally from Benin and Paris, enjoy!
Beaucoup de félicitations Angélique! Jon Hammond
"FRANCE HONORS MUSICIAN
WITH THE ORDER OF ARTS AND LETTERS
New York, May 6, 2011—On Wednesday, May 11, Antonin Baudry, Cultural Counselor of the Embassy of France, will confer upon internationally acclaimed artist, Angélique Kidjo, the insignia of Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters for her musicianship, her dedication to humanitarian causes, and, more generally, for her efforts to further the arts in France and throughout the world.
Born in the West African city of Ouidah, in Benin, Mrs. Kidjo grew up during the 1960's, a radical period of change across the African continent. She released her first album at age 20 with the help of her brother and went on to pursue music in Paris, first at Les Ateliers-Chansons (The Song Studios) and then at CIM (school of jazz and contemporary music).
Today, she has become an influential musician on a global scale, known for her dynamic performances and diverse musical influences, which range from Congolese rumba and Afro-pop, to jazz, gospel, and Latin styles. Her numerous projects include collaborations with musicians such as Bono, Peter Gabriel, Carlos Santana, Ziggi Marley, Alicia Keys, Dianne Reeves, Josh Groban, Herbie Hancock, and Youssou N'Dour. She has received countless awards from around the globe for her musical merits including a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album in 2008 and the French Grand Prix de la SACEM (Grand Prize from SACEM) in 2010.
Among her many notable humanitarian achievements, Mrs. Kidjo is a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF. She founded The Batonga Foundation in 2007 to support secondary school and higher education for girls in Africa. She also composed the song, "You Can Count on Me", for the launch of UNICEF's 2009 campaign to eliminate tetanus.
The Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters) was created in 1957 to recognize eminent artists and writers, as well as individuals who have contributed to the recognition of French culture in the world. The Order is given out twice annually to only a few hundred people worldwide. Several Americans have received the award, including Paul Auster, Ornette Coleman, Agnes Gund, Marilyn Horne, Jim Jarmusch, Richard Meier, Robert Paxton, Robert Redford, Meryl Streep, and Uma Thurman"
special thanks merci beaucoup: Paula Cianci, Judith Walker, Amaury Laporte, sound by Danny Garcia, Antonin Baudry, Cultural Counselor of the Embassy of France 15 minutes http://www.HammondCast.com
Angelique Kidjo, insignia of Officer, Order of Arts and Letters, Paris, Benin France, Africa HammondCast