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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Reeves, Wright, Kidjo “Sing the Truth”

Across the world
Editing, re-reporting by Carolyn Bennett         

Touring Europe this summer, Deutsche Welle reports, is “an unusual group of jazz and popular music singers — Pop diva Dianne Reeves, jazz vocalist Lizz Wright, African pop singer Agelique Kidjo — performing music in tribute to the political and musical heritage of African Americans. 

This continuing, inspiring tour is "Sing the Truth." 

In July in Turkey, Agelique Kidjo is reported saying in performance, “‘I cannot see your color. You are all the same to me.’ She added, according to the news report, “that she could not imagine a person who could pray to God and, at the same time, kill for the sake of God.”

“Divas Angelique Kidjo, Dianne Reeves and Lizz Wright,” the article said, “embraced an Istanbul audience … not only singing jazz but also the ‘truth’ as part of a tour dedicated to the songs of their favorite female stars.

“The three singers provided an enthralling mix of blues, jazz and African music, mesmerizing the audience at the Cemil Topuzlu Open-Air Theater as part of the ongoing Istanbul Jazz Festival.”

The trio’s “Sing the Truth” tour centers on “equality, sisterhood, and being someone strong instead of a victim.”

The three stellar vocalists Angélique Kidjo, Dianne Reeves, Lizz Wright also performed music from three recently passed legends Miriam Makeba, Abbey Lincoln and Odetta – along with songs made famous by Billie Holiday and other jazz greats.

“Sing the Truth” has been called an “unforgettable celebration of the jazz spirit with musical director and drummer Terri Lynn Carrington, pianist Geri Allen, guitarist Romero Lubambo and other star musicians.”

Two years ago “Sing The Truth” — celebrated the Music of Nina Simone starring Dianne Reeves, Simone (Nina’s daughter Simone), Lizz Wright, and the Original Nina Simone Band.

Sources and notes

Dianne Reeves
U.S.-born multiple Grammy-winning Dianne Reeves has been among the world’s top jazz singers since the late 1980s. Said to be “a logical successor to Dinah Washington and Carmen McRae … Reeves, with a three-and-a-half octave range, is a superior interpreter of lyrics and a skilled scat singer.” Even in teen age when singing and recording with her high school band, she “was a talented vocalist,”  http://www.starpulse.com/Music/Reeves,_Dianne/Biography/
Angélique Kidjo.
“Afro-funk, reggae, samba, salsa, gospel, jazz, Zairean rhumba, zouk, and makossa combine in the music of soulful Benin-born, Paris [and New York]-based vocalist Angélique Kidjo. Since the release of her self-produced debut solo album ‘Pretty’ (1988), Kidjo has been embraced by the international press.” Her mother, a performer in a dance and theater ensemble, and her father, a banjo player, influence Kidjo’s love of stage and performance. http://worldmusic.about.com/od/bandsartistsaz/p/AngeliqueKidjo.htm

Lizz Wright
U.S.-born Lizz Wright has been the recipient of nonstop critical acclaim and ever-increasing audiences ever since her “Salt” debut with Verve in 2003.  Wright had listened to and sung only religious music before finding Atlanta’s jazz community in her college years.

Wright is quoted saying, “The funny thing about the transition is that I felt that jazz had a sacredness.”

“I was drawn by what I recognized inside of the new adventures in jazz and all the other contemporary music I dove into since I left home,” she says. “Step by step, I walked into what I found familiar and when I first heard what people were calling the blues, I was taken aback, because I had heard that sound all my life.

“That was how the old women sang in my church—how the mothers sang—and now people were calling it the blues. I’m dancing the pattern back and forth and I am a lot more comfortable now with presenting the music of my home in its traditional form. It is important that I can sing that to my elders and my ancestors because that is part of who I am. I am at a place in my life where I’m ready to visit and really exalt that.” http://www.vervemusicgroup.com/lizzwright/bio/

 At Deutsche Welle, Reese Erlich reports this week from the Montreal and Copenhagen Jazz Festivals. “Jazz Divas honor African musical heritage,” August 3, 2011, Arts on the Air,

“Jazz heroines sing in the name of truth in Istanbul” Wednesday, July 13, 2011, Çağla Pınar Tunçel, ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News Divas Angelique Kidjo, Dianne Reeves and Lizz Wright embraced an Istanbul audience Tuesday night

Vocal jazz: Dianne Reeves, Lizz Wright, Simone (vocals); Al Schackman (guitar, vibraphone); Jeremy Berlin (piano); Chris White (double bass); Paul Robinson (drums); Leopoldo Fleming (percussion), http://www.northseajazz.com/en/program/2009/friday-10-july/12429_sing-the-truth-with-simone-reeves-wright

Artists: Angélique Kidjo, Dianne Reeves, Lizz Wright, http://www.musiccenter.org/cal/events/?com=detail&eID=4989

Schedule from Dianne Reeves' website
Date City Venue Group

  06.11.11 Hollywood, CA Playboy Jazz Festival Martin, Sprague, Veal, Gully
  06.25.11 Montreal, CAN Maisonneuve Theatre de la Place des Arts Reeves only
  06.26.11 Saratoga Springs, NY Saratoga Performing Arts Center Sing The Truth! Angelique Kidjo, Dianne Reeves and Lizz Wright
  06.30.11 Rheingau, DEU Schloss Johannisberg Sing The Truth! Angelique Kidjo, Dianne Reeves and Lizz Wright
  07.01.11 Lugano, CHE Lugano Estival Jazz Sing The Truth! Angelique Kidjo, Dianne Reeves and Lizz Wright
  07.02.11 Copenhagen, DNK Tivoli Concert Hall Sing The Truth! Angelique Kidjo, Dianne Reeves and Lizz Wright
  07.05.11 London, GBR Barbican Centre Sing The Truth! Angelique Kidjo, Dianne Reeves and Lizz Wright
  07.08.11 Stuttgart, DEU Mercedes-Benz Museum Sing The Truth! Angelique Kidjo, Dianne Reeves and Lizz Wright
  07.10.11 Hamburg, DEU Stadtgarden Sing The Truth! Angelique Kidjo, Dianne Reeves and Lizz Wright
  07.12.11 Istanbul, TUR Cemil Topuzhu Open Air Theatre Sing The Truth! Angelique Kidjo, Dianne Reeves and Lizz Wright
  07.14.11 Ghent, BEL Ghent Jazz Festival Sing The Truth! Angelique Kidjo, Dianne Reeves and Lizz Wright
  07.16.11 Pori, FIN Kirjurinluoto Arena Sing The Truth! Angelique Kidjo, Dianne Reeves and Lizz Wright
  07.19.11 Molde, NOR Bjornsonhurset Sing The Truth! Angelique Kidjo, Dianne Reeves and Lizz Wright
  08.01.11 Marciac, FRA Chapiteau Malone, Lubambo
  08.04.11 Johannesburg, ZAF Montecasino Theater Malone, Lubambo, Veal, Gully
  08.05.11 Johannesburg, ZAF Montecasino Theater Malone, Lubambo, Veal, Gully
  09.02.11 Detroit, MI Chase Main Stage Sing The Truth! Angelique Kidjo, Dianne Reeves and Lizz Wright
  09.04.11 Lenox, MA Tanglewood Jazz Festival Sing The Truth! Angelique Kidjo, Dianne Reeves and Lizz Wright
  10.08.11 New York, NY Blue Note Malone, Lubambo, Veal, Gully
  10.09.11 New York, NY Blue Note Malone, Lubambo, Veal, Gully
  10.16.11 Clearwater, FL Clearwater Jazz Holiday Coachman Park Malone, Lubambo, Veal, Gully
  10.22.11 Los Angeles, CA LA Philharmonic Reeves only
  11.30.11 Dublin, IRL The National Theater Malone, Lubambo, Veal, Gully
  12.01.11 Essen, DEU Philharmonie Essen Malone, Lubambo, Veal, Gully
  12.03.11 Potsdam, DEU  Nikolaisaal Potsdam Malone, Lubambo, Veal, Gully
  12.05.11 Arhus, DNK Musikhuset Malone, Lubambo, Veal, Gully
  12.06.11 Ansterdam, NLD Concertgebouw Malone, Lubambo, Veal, Gully
  12.07.11 Warsaw, POL Poznan Jazz & Festival Malone, Lubambo, Veal, Gully
  12.09.11 Barcelona, ESP L'Auditori Malone, Lubambo, Veal, Gully
  12.10.11 Las Palmas, ESP Teatro Cuyas Malone, Lubambo, Veal, Gully


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