Wonderful World

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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