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CARNEGIE HALL PRESENTS

Benin International Musical

Saturday, October 19, 2019 9:30 PM Zankel Hall
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Benin International Musical
The next generation of Benin-bred musicians energizes and uplifts audiences. Their intoxicating mix of voodoo rhythms and traditional songs fused with hip-hop, rock, and electronica have made superstar Angélique Kidjo a fan. Come hear them in their Carnegie Hall debut in this special concert curated by Kidjo.

Part of: Angélique Kidjo Perspectives

Performers

Benin International Musical

Event Duration

The concert will last approximately 90 minutes with no intermission.

Late Nights at Zankel Hall

Join us for a pre-concert drink at the Parterre Bar in Zankel Hall before concerts that start at 9 PM or later.
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Presented by Carnegie Hall in partnership with Robert Browning Associates LLC.

Howard Gilman Foundation

Major support for the Angélique Kidjo Perspectives series has been provided by the Howard Gilman Foundation.

In honor of the centenary of his birth, Carnegie Hall’s 2019–2020 season is dedicated to the memory of Isaac Stern in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to Carnegie Hall, arts advocacy, and the field of music.

Bios

Benin International Musical

Benin International Musical (BIM) is a collective that aims to highlight voodoo culture and make the music of Benin better known to the world. It crystallizes the bubbling creativity of the West African country’s music scene with the wealth of its history and the music of its ancestors.

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Benin International Musical (BIM) is a collective that aims to highlight voodoo culture and make the music of Benin better known to the world. It crystallizes the bubbling creativity of the West African country’s music scene with the wealth of its history and the music of its ancestors.

Known historically as the former kingdom of Dahomey, Benin is home to voodoo convents where 19th-century instruments and rhythms were created that indirectly gave birth to current musical forms (such as blues, jazz, rock, and rap). To revive the melodies of the ancient peoples of Dahomey, Hervé Riesen (Radio France) joined forces with French composer and producer Jérôme Ettinger. From convents to evangelical churches to clubs in Cotonou, they scoured Benin to put together a group representative of the country’s new musical generation. After several months of auditions in 2016, they recruited performers from backgrounds in gospel as well as hip-hop and traditional song.

The seven members of BIM received support from the Institut français in Cotonou, which provided them space for two years to record their first album, BIM#1, released in early 2019. In a musical journey from Ouidah—the main port in the slave trade in the 19th century—to the cotton fields of the American South, voodoo rhythms, traditional songs, and electric melodies are blended in a global music approach, consisting of an explosive mix of Afrobeat, trip-hop, rock, and electro, crossed with swing and gospel accents.

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