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Angélique Kidjo: Tiny Desk Concert

Today we celebrate the 1,000th concert the Tiny Desk team has captured and published, and I can't imagine a more inspiring spirit to help us celebrate than Angélique Kidjo. Originally from the West African country of Benin, the singer and activist plays a crucial role in spreading the music of Africa and the spirit of love in all that she does.

When I started the Tiny Desk series in April 2008, I never imagined its impact. So many artists' voices have been raised and shared with music fans worldwide through these performances. When Angélique was preparing for her Tiny Desk concert, she thought it would be a good idea to watch some past concerts for inspiration. It's then she saw Sampa The Great's home concert from Zambia and immediately reached out in hopes of collaborating. Now here they are, at NPR, brought together by a series that has been blessed with so much talent and a global audience with big ears and open arms.

Angélique Kidjo's band drives the energy and melody as they perform songs from her 2021 album Mother Nature and then dig back a decade to perform the song "Afirika," encouraging strength for the African people. The celebration concludes as Angélique Kidjo pays tribute to her friend and mentor Miriam Makeba by performing her 1967 global hit, "Pata Pata." It was a lovely way to shine a light on how we can impact each other's lives through music.


  • "Mother Nature"
  • "Free & Equal" (feat. Sampa The Great)
  • "Afirika"
  • "Pata Pata"

  • Angélique Kidjo: vocals
  • Sampa The Great: vocals
  • Cassondra James Kellam: vocals
  • Stephanie Fisher Alvarenga: vocals
  • Dominic James: guitar, vocals
  • Michael Olatuja: bass, vocals 
  • Etienne Stadwijk: keyboard 
  • Edgardo "Yayo" Serka: drums
  • Magatte Sow: percussion

  • Producer/Series Creator: Bob Boilen 
  • Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin 
  • Director/Editor: Kara Frame 
  • Series Producer: Bobby Carter 
  • Videographers: Kara Frame, Michael Zamora, Pierre Kattar, Alanté Serene
  • Audio Assistant: Natasha Branch 
  • Production Assistants: Jill Britton, Joby Tanseco
  • Tiny Desk Team: Suraya Mohamed, Marissa Lorusso, Hazel Cills, Ashley Pointer, Maia Stern
  • VP, Visuals and Music: Keith Jenkins
  • Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann
  • Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit

    In 1988, a determined Bob Boilen started showing up on NPR's doorstep every day, looking for a way to contribute his skills in music and broadcasting to the network. His persistence paid off, and within a few weeks he was hired, on a temporary basis, to work for All Things Considered. Less than a year later, Boilen was directing the show and continued to do so for the next 18 years.