Angélique Kidjo, JP Saxe Lead Intimate Concert For United Nations Human Rights

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Angélique Kidjo and JP Saxe have thrown their talents behind a special invite-only concert in New York, part of an expanding United Nations initiative to highlight climate justice and rights-based climate action.

Kidjo, the five-time Grammy Award-winning Beninese-French singer-songwriter, and Saxe, the Grammy nominated Canadian singer and musician, both performed at a private industry event, hosted at the Recording Academy’s office with reps from UN Human Rights watching on.

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The Recording Academy is the official music partner of Right Here, Right Now Music, supported by United Nations Human Rights, with both organizations coming together to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the universal declaration of human rights, created in the wake of WWII to outline universal human rights.

Guests at the intimate show also learned “alarming new facts” about the escalating human rights crisis caused by climate change, according to a joint statement.

The music-led project is just getting started. Some of the “most popular arena acts” will be encouraged to use their considerable voice to elevate climate issue for the Right Here, Right Now Mini Global Climate Concert series. As-yet unannounced major artists will be tapped to perform in “small iconic concert venues” around the world, a statement explains, while shining a light on climate issues such as floods, droughts, fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis, clean water, ocean acidity, deforestation, as well as food insecurity, mental health, and more.

The first international activation is set for Dec. 9 with a show at the Atlantis in Dubai during COP28, the UN’s annual global climate change conference.

Grammy-nominated Lumineers’ frontman Wesley Schultz and British singer-songwriter YOLA performed at the first U.S. event, held April 13 in Boulder, Colorado, at which the performers delivered speeches “addressing the importance of utilizing music as a tool to combat climate change,” read a joint statement issued at the time.

Berlin, London, Kigali, Seoul, and Rio de Janeiro are among the cities being considered for Right Here, Right Now Mini Global Climate Concerts next year.

Through the climate concerts, says David Clark, founder and CEO of Right Here, Right Now Global Climate Alliance, parent organization of Right Here, Right Now Music, “we seek to reframe the climate crisis as the fundamental human rights crisis that it is and thank the Recording Academy and UN Human Rights for being such dedicated partners in this worldwide effort.”

Adds Harvey Mason jr., CEO of the Recording Academy, “I look forward to working alongside UN Human Rights to showcase how the power of music can raise awareness and help promote change surrounding human rights issues around the world.”

Proceeds from the concert series will go to United Nations Human Rights climate justice initiatives and music industry charity MusiCares.

The Right Here, Right Now Global Climate Alliance was presented at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland and has earned support from a growing list of artists, including Jack Black, Camila Cabello, Cher, Dead & Company, Celine Dion, Michael Franti, Quincy Jones, Kesha, Cyndi Lauper, Annie Lennox, LL Cool J, Pitbull, Joss Stone, Bob Weir, and more.

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