I want to give you a description of the Angelique Kidjo's performance at Celebrate Brooklyn, but before I do let me say first that Ditmas Park's own Farm on Adderley provided wonderful food at this event. I thought they had a nice variety of choices that were healthy and reasonably priced. They had their famous fries with choices of Peasant (with garlic, parsley & olive oil), Upstate (cabot cheddar) and ,of course, the classic. They also had small meals in a bowl such as fried rice with smoked bluefish and pickled dandelions, slow cooked beef with polenta and farmers cheese, and more. It was nice to see such a great menu at prices you could afford. So when coming out to see Celebrate Brooklyn you know you have your friends there providing good eats.
And now I want to tell you about Angelique Kidjo's performance and what a performance! I have to say that I had heard of her, but had not actually heard any of her music until Saturday night and I was floored. This little bitty woman took command of the stage and she held the audience in the thrall of her amazing voice and kept the show on a high octave with her energy as she danced and engaged with the audience. We the audience were in some kind of synchronicity with what was going on onstage as Angelique started to sing Bob Marley's Redemption Song and many if not all began to sing with her. Later, the audience repeated the beats played out by her conga player by clapping hands as if it had been rehearsed. But there was more going on up there on the stage than just music; this woman came with a message of peace and she was not afraid to talk about it simply and candidly. She spoke about Women Waging Peace, an organization of women in war torn countries seeking and creating change by peaceful means.
Also performing as the opening act was Somi with her sultry voice and then later she joined Sibongile Khumalo the opera singer from South Africa, both talents in their own right deserved our attention and adoration. Then there was the performance artist Laurie Anderson with her electric violin hooked up to a synthesizer that made her sound like a symphony orchestra. She then went into comedic but insightful monologue with a voice that sounded like John Huston. The experience of this concert was elevating and one that I will never forget.
Please forgive my not getting a closer shots of the performance, as it had been a last minute decision to go.