Kidjo, Angélique, with Rachel Wenrick: Spirit Rising: My Life, My Music (2014)
Discussion: Tuesday, April 14, 2015, 7:00-8:30 pm. Location at the home of Mike Waite, 7008 Kansas St in Vancouver WA, 360-314-4117. Note the change to our April book selection; it’s to accommodate an author appearance in May. Feel free to bring snacks to share.
Review: © Library Journal: Kidjo’s memoir brims with the same joy, exuberance, and wisdom exhibited in her music while adding depth and insight into her art and life and the triumph of making connections through music. She grew up in Benin (West Africa), with a family full of songs and love. In order to continue to create her music, Kidjo fled a dictatorship and moved to France, where she struggled to support herself and against the “coolness toward African immigrants.” She studied music, got married, and built on her interest in human rights. Through many collaborations-with Carlos Santana, Ziggy Marley, and Branford Marsalis, to name only a few-across cultures, styles, and countries, she details how she combines the music of Africa with music from the diaspora, extracted through slavery, constructing unique combinations and blending modern and traditional, roots and technology, jazz, and more with drums and complex rhythms at the center. She outlines how she has used her notoriety, as well as her predilection to speak her mind, to visit and advocate for women and children through UNICEF and her own foundation.