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Grammy Award-Winning Singer Angelique Kidjo to Give Talk and Concert Oct. 2-3

September 18, 2013

Angelique Kidjo with Prof. Damascus Kafumbe for the John Hamilton Fulton Lecture in the Liberal Arts.

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. — Grammy Award-winning artist and social advocate Angelique Kidjo will join Middlebury faculty member Damascus Kafumbe in conversation on Wednesday, Oct. 2, at 4:30 p.m. in the McCullough Social Space at Middlebury College. The discussion will serve as the 2013-2014 John Hamilton Fulton Lecture in the Liberal Arts. The lecture is free and open to the public, with seating priority granted to Middlebury ID holders.

The following evening, Thursday, Oct. 3, Kidjo will appear in concert in Nelson Recreation Center at 8 p.m. Ticket prices are $5 for students with a valid ID from any college or university, $10 for Middlebury faculty and staff, and $20 for the general public. Tickets can be purchased through the Middlebury box office and at the door.

A Grammy winner (Best Contemporary World Music Album) for her 2007 release "Djin Djin," Kidjo has been called “Africa’s premier diva” by Time magazine and “the undisputed queen of African music” by the Daily Telegraph of London. Her music is recognized for its diverse influences and infusion of energy, drawing upon Afropop, Congolese rumba, jazz, rhythm and blues, gospel and Latin style to create a repertoire uniquely her own. Kidjo has collaborated with a number of music’s leading recording artists, including Peter Gabriel, Bono, Alicia Keys and Branford Marsalis, and has played sold-out venues around the globe.

As an advocate for social justice, Kidjo has served as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2002; has created a foundation that supports education and leadership opportunities for girls in Africa; and has campaigned for clean water, access to medicine, and an African continent free from conflict and war. In a 2007 profile in Vanity Fair, actor and performer Harry Belafonte wrote that “most artists talk about doing good; few go out and do it. Angelique Kidjo is one of them.”

“Angelique Kidjo’s creative endeavors and social advocacy should resonate with our vibrant and diverse community,” said Middlebury President Ronald D. Liebowitz. “In addition to injecting the campus with an exciting and energetic dose of great African music on Thursday evening, Ms. Kidjo will be part of a public conversation with Professor Damascus Kafumbe. During the conversation I hope the campus will hear how Ms. Kidjo’s music ties into her life’s work — to her philanthropy and collaboration with international organizations to make a difference throughout the developing world.”

The John Hamilton Fulton Lecture in the Liberal Arts was established at Middlebury College in 1966. The late Alexander Hamilton Fulton, an emeritus member of the Middlebury College board of trustees, donated the gift that established the lectureship, which is named in honor of his father. Previous Fulton lecturers have included Lani Guinier, Michael Ignatieff, Chief Justice John Roberts, Beverly Sills, James A. Baker III, William H. Rehnquist, Wynton Marsalis and Elie Wiesel. Harvard University Professor of Government Eric Nelson delivered last year’s lecture.