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In an expansive career marked as much by extraordinary musical achievement as passionate advocacy and philanthropy for her homeland of Africa, Angelique Kidjo has found many ways to celebrate the rich, enlightening truth about the continent’s women beyond the media spotlight. On Eve, her highly anticipated Savoy Records debut named for her own mother as well as the mythical “mother of all living,” the Benin born, Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter builds on this ever-evolving legacy with a 13-track, three interlude set of melodically rich, rhythmically powerful expressions of female empowerment. These songs become all the more intimate and emotionally urgent with Kidjo’s dynamic collaborations with traditional women’s choirs from Kenya and various cities and villages in Benin. The singer and her newfound native vocalists sing in a wide array of native Beninese languages, including Fon (Kidjo’s first language), Yoruba, Goun, and Mina.
Emmanuel Jal (Paul) was born into the life of a child solider in the early 1980s in the war-torn region of Southern Sudan. Through unbelievable struggles, Emmanuel managed to survive and go on to emerge as a recording artist, achieving worldwide acclaim for his unique style of hip hop with its message of peace and reconciliation born out of his personal experiences. Jal’s fifth studio album, The Key, was released in September 2014 and included collaborations with Nile Rodgers and Nelly Furtado. The album blends traditional African music with contemporary urban, hip hop and global pop music rhythms, while incorporating EDM, reggae/dub, soul and Afro beat elements.
For over two decades, Rich Medina has cemented his reputation as a world class DJ. Outside the club, he’s a father, educator, platinum-selling record producer, poet, designer, public speaker and journalist. From his humble beginnings at TK Nightclub in Philadelphia to his current status manning the decks at four of New York City’s most popular recurring parties, Rich Medina has taken crowds on a sonic journey through hip-hop, house, Afrobeat, funk and soul, unearthing one musical gem after another and adhering to a singular, uplifting creed: Love Afro Life. Medina is also an advisory board member of (his alma mater) Cornell University’s Hip Hop Collection where he is a guest lecturer and panel moderator for their music and Africana departments. His writing has been featured in many esteemed publications including The Fader, Wax Poetics and Complex Magazine.