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Photo: Caroline Coulon/Water Alternatives, Malanville (Some rights reserved)

Benin borders Togo to the west, Nigeria to the east, and Burkina Faso, and Niger to the north.

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The British stole Benin’s bronzes. It’s a theft that still hurts

Recommended Listening
Treasures of Benin – Benin is a rich sliver of West Africa too often overlooked. This program puts Afropop’s spotlight on Benin for the first time, starting with the country’s favorite daughter. International star Angelique Kidjo looks back on her musical education in the Benin capital, Cotonou, as she walks us through the songs on her new album Oyo, which spans covers of songs by James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Miriam Makeba, and Benin’s own Bella Bellow. We meet the 70s “vodoun funk” band Orchestre Poly-Rythmo, who are still going strong, and recently played their belated US debut. We zoom to the present in a chat with Lionel Loueke, a Beninois guitarist who has moved on to become one of the most original voices in contemporary American jazz. The program ends with a remembrance of Malian guitarist and singer Lobi Traore.



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