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Angelique Kidjo to perform in the La Voix musical programme at Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA)
Taurai Maduna, Kubatana.net
February 21, 2006

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Angelique Kidjo is billed to perform at the 7th edition of the prestigious Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA)
Angelique Kidjo is billed to perform at the 7th edition of the prestigious Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA)

Internationally acclaimed Benin born musician Angelique Kidjo is billed to perform at the 7th edition of the prestigious Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA) in April in the La Voix musical programme.

La Voix - The Voice, is a biennial musical programme that will showcase French-funded performances and workshops during HIFA 2006.

The first edition of La Voix, a celebration of cultural diversity, is being presented for the first time in Africa at HIFA by the Association Française d'Action Artistique (AFAA) and the Embassy of France.

Michel Raimbaud, the French ambassador to Zimbabwe, speaking at the launch of La Voix in Harare, described it as a Franco-Zimbabwean project and "the biggest cultural project being funded by (AFAA)." He added that La Voix was the French contribution to HIFA 2006. listen to audio file

Manuel Bagorro, Founder and Artistic Director for HIFA was equally excited about the French contribution at HIFA 2006. He said, "La Voix is a project that has been designed to celebrate Pan-African communication, Pan-African networking and it essentially presents some of the best names of African music." Mr Bagorro added that HIFA’s hosting of La Voix was a great credibility boost. listen to audio file

Michel Raimbaud, the French ambassador to Zimbabwe, speaking at the launch of La Voix in Harare
Michel Raimbaud, the French ambassador to Zimbabwe, speaking at the launch of La Voix in Harare

The theme for HIFA 2006 is "hAND in hAND". Angeline Kamba, Chairperson of the HIFA Board of Trustees said HIFA in association with the French Embassy are bridging the cultural divide. She added that the La Voix programme would greatly enhance the festival.

Angelique Kidjo is the highlight of La Voix. The New York based musician is well known for her rendition of Jimi Hendrix’s Voodoo Child and her duet with Dave Mathews called Iwoya from her album Black Ivory Soul.

Other big musical names billed to perform at HIFA under La Voix include Highlife musician Rex Omar from Ghana, Lokua Kanza from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and acclaimed reggae musician Tiken Jah Fakoly from the Ivory Coast.

Manuel Bagorro, HIFA Executive Director and Angeline Kamba, Chairperson of the HIFA Board of Trustees
Manuel Bagorro, HIFA Executive Director and Angeline Kamba, Chairperson of the HIFA Board of Trustees

Before the festival kicks off Benat Achiary and Lokua Kanza will conduct a voice workshop. Some of the participants at the workshop will include musicians from Kenya, Burundi, Malawi, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Madagascar as well as Zimbabwean representatives.

Over the years, the French Embassy has brought musical greats to the festival including Ishmael Lo and Habib Koite.

HIFA is scheduled to take place on April 25-30, 2006.

For more information on HIFA visit www.hifa.co.zw

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