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13 février 2008

Grammy winner Angelique Kidjo launches headlining trek

Fresh off her first Grammy win, world music songstress Angelique Kidjo is getting ready to hit the road for headlining tours of North America and Europe.

The African-born singer will kick things off Feb. 21 in Seattle and play cities all over the US, as well as a couple of Canadian provinces, through April 9. She will immediately segue into her European jaunt, which runs into late May. North American dates are listed below and overseas shows can be found at Kidjo's website.

Last Sunday, the singer won the Best Contemporary World Album Grammy for her latest release, "Djin Djin." In her acceptance speech, she dedicated the award to the "women of Darfur, the women who are fighting every day to give their kids an education."

"Djin Djin," which surfaced in May, has Kidjo partnering with guest stars including Alicia Keys, Peter Gabriel, Carlos Santana, Joss Stone, Ziggy Marley, Branford Marsalis and Josh Groban, with whom she toured last year. The critically acclaimed set, produced by Tony Visconti (David Bowie, Morrissey), reached No. 58 on The Billboard 200 and nabbed the top spot on the magazine's World Albums chart.

The record follows 2004's "Oyaya!" and is billed as a return to Kidjo's Beninese roots, capturing the most traditional rhythms from her country. It comprises material sung in her native languages as well as in English and French. A couple of songs from the set are streaming at Kidjo's MySpace page.

In addition to her music career, Kidjo has devoted much of her adult life to global charity work, according to a press release. She is a spokesperson for UNICEF and Oxfam, and recently created her own charity, Batonga, which aims to create a culture that values and supports the secondary education of girls in Africa.

February 12, 2008 By Kym Kilgore LiveDaily Contributor

WOMAD February 2008 Update

By now, those New Year's resolutions will have been broken and the detox diet forgotten. So, you'll be ready to gorge on a feast of musical delights and flavours at WOMAD Charlton Park 2008.

The festival returns for a second time to Charlton Park and the confirmed dates are Friday 25th - Sunday 27th July 2008.

The WOMAD festival weekend aims to create a musical adventure, a journey with no particular destination. Your fellow travellers are the sixty-odd artists from 36 countries who bring their music, dance and expression to the festival.

We have a really great line-up in store for you at WOMAD Charlton Park this year plus we'll be offering more workshops, more participation and a re-designed and expanded festival site with improved access, car parking and camping facilities.

Some of the artists featured at WOMAD Charlton Park 2008 will be familiar to the festival audience, others entirely new. It's just up to you, to jump in and take a bite!

and more...

10 février 2008

Flautist to pipe in Chinese New Year

Internationally acclaimed flautist Guo Yue

As the Chinese New Year dawns today, there is a plethora of related cultural events taking place around Liverpool and the region. The internationally acclaimed flautist Guo Yue, whose music enhanced films like The Last Emperor and The Killing Fields, arrives with his charming bamboo flutes on Friday.

His is the first in a series of Chinese related concerts in the Philharmonic Hall’s Rodewald Suite as part of its After Eight programme. He is followed by cellist Semay Wu and singer Seaming To who appear with their amazing electronic effects in a couple of weeks, followed by The Silk String Quartet at the end of the month.

Guo was born in Beijing, but left China in 1982 to study at the Guildhall School of Music. With his brother Guo Yi, he has performed at international festivals and concerts, including The World of Music, Arts and Dance.

He first performed his bamboo flutes concerto My Peking Alley with the BBC Concert Orchestra at Womad almost 10 years ago, and also performed the soundtrack for the Channel Four television documentary Beyond the Clouds.

Guo commented: “In ancient Chinese philosophy, life is about four things: sadness, happiness, being apart and being together. Looking back on my childhood as the youngest son of a violinist, growing up in a large musical family in the alleys (hutongs) of Beijing, I would agree.”

The Rodewald concert is part of an exciting six-month programme of events promoted through the China Now banner to raise the profile of China in Britain in 2008. But the first Year of the Rat event is surely the launch of a major Chinese art exhibition at The Egg Cafe venue in Newington tonight. It features the works of five Chinese artists, and has been coordinated by well-known painter and calligrapher Xia Lu, who is based in Liverpool. Along with other artists from China, she is showing 57 different pieces.

* GUO YUE – Rodewald Box Office 0151 709 3789/Chinese Art Exhibition:

Feb 7 2008 by Lew Baxter, Liverpool Daily Post