The third album in Angelique Kidjo's three-phase project exploring African roots in various cultures, Oyaya! finds Benin's queen of soul turning her focus to the rhythms and textures of the African diaspora, namely Cuba, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Trinidad. The interesting aspect of the salsa, calypso, plena, ska and merengue fusions represented on the Steve Berlin-produced Oyaya! is that the effervescent sound that results isn't very different from the Afro-Cuban rumba music of Gnonnas Pedro which first inspired her. So after a trip around the world over three albums Kidjo's actually back home where she began.
Angelique Kidjo turns up the heat at Harbourfront Centre Saturday (June 19).