IMDb > Angelique Kidjo & Friends: Spirit Rising (2011) (TV)

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Release Date:
2011 (USA) See more »
User Reviews:
A force of nature sings Afropop See more (1 total) »


  (in credits order)

Angélique Kidjo ... Herself

Dianne Reeves ... Herself

Josh Groban ... Himself

Ezra Koenig ... Himself

Branford Marsalis ... Himself

Directed by
Jim Gable 
Produced by
Anne Adams .... producer
Kristina Bracciale .... producer
Laurie Donnelly .... executive producer
Jean Hebrail .... executive producer
Angélique Kidjo .... executive producer
Costume Design by
Mary Jane Marcasiano 
Camera and Electrical Department
Alan Adelman .... lighting director
Michael Mulvey .... jib operator

Production CompaniesDistributors
  • WGBH (2011) (USA) (TV)

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A force of nature sings Afropop, 10 December 2011
Author: evening1 from United States

I'd known about Angelique Kidjo for years, having been introduced to her music by a former boyfriend. Her sound is truly a beautiful thing to share with someone you love -- it's romantic AND energizing.

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the artist behind the sound in this get-you-dancing concert film shown in NYC during public TV's fund-raising campaign.

When was the last time you saw someone in concert who genuinely seemed to relish her job? Ms. Kidjo's like that. She sings with all of her body and soul, and seems to take as much joy in improvising dance moves as in projecting her formidable voice.

She performs a number of duets but the ones I liked best were with Diana Reeves, whom she calls her "American sister," Josh Groban, and Wynton Marsalis (with whom she performed a hypnotic riff on Ravel's "Bolero").

Here is an opportunity to hear "Summertime," the "Porgy and Bess" tune, sung in an African language. Other songs, some in English, are equally moving: "Emancipate yourself from mental slavery...None but ourselves can free our mind!"

While the Benin-born Ms. Kidjo no longer lives in Africa, her native continent preoccupies her. "If we don't see the beauty of Africa, how can we see the beauty of humanity?" she asks during a station break. "Africa is the cradle of humanity."

More people should know about this life-affirming artist. I just hope she never loses that enthusiasm. Brava!!!!!!

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