African singer Angelique Kidjo was honored by the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal when it gave her the Antonio Carlos Jobim Award last night. The artist was presented the prize by Laurent Saulnier, vice-president of programming of the Festival, at a press conference. The artist also received the award on stage at her concert, in the Spectrum de Montreal, as part of Les Couleurs SAQ series.
Angélique Kidjo is the 4th laureate of the Antonio Carlos Jobim Award. Created in 2004 on the 25th anniversary of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, each year the award is given to an artist distinguished in the field of world music whose influence on the evolution of jazz and cultural crossover is widely recognized.
Her music is a mixture of influences from her native Benin and American R&B, funk and jazz. She has been a repeat Grammy nominee and has worked with the likes of Dave Matthews, Carlos Santana, Peter Gabriel, Alicia Keys, Branford Marsalis and Amadou and Mariam. Her latest album, Djin Djin, a favorite with the critics, is a true gem. But what is most distinct about this top-rate African singer is her way of singing and of making music without boundaries: her highly palpable energy, charisma and joie de vivre make her one totally irresistible artist, endowed with a voice that is unique.
As the winner of the Antonio Carlos Jobim Award, Angélique Kidjo follows in the footsteps of Salif Keita (2006), Khaled (2005) and Ibrahim Ferrer (2004).