Wonderful World

African musician does justice to Jimi

Jimi Hendrix is that rare artist whose songs are nearly impossible to cover and still do them justice. His immeasurable talent and singular style leave little room for a re-interpretation that doesn’t sound silly or, worse, inconsequential.

But leave it to Angélique Kidjo, an export from the tiny West African country of Benin, to re-imagine Hendrix’s classic “Voodoo Chile” as a tasty morsel of Afro-pop. Kidjo, one of the biggest names in a genre that’s huge worldwide but virtually ignored stateside, does just that, replacing Jimi’s searing guitar lines with an instantly memorable vocal performance.

The Grammy-winning singer, who’s collaborated with Herbie Hancock, Dave Matthews, Peter Gabriel, and Carlos Santana, will perform one of a handful of U.S. dates on Friday, March 27, at Mesa Arts Center.

Fri., March 27, 8 p.m., 2009
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