Youssou NDOUR Tuesday, October 30, at 8 p.m. Concert Hall


Emotive vocals, visionary African rhythms, and powerful messages of social activism reign supreme as the king of African pop performs

as part of the Renée Fleming VOICES Series

(WASHINGTON)—The 2018–2019 Renée Fleming VOICES series continues with singer, percussionist, and humanitarian Youssou NDOUR on Tuesday, October 30, at 8 p.m. in the Concert Hall. Tickets for this performance are $29–$89.

Dubbed “perhaps the most famous singer alive” by Rolling Stone, Youssou NDOUR is an undisputed giant of world music. First introduced to American audiences on seminal albums such as Paul Simon’s Graceland and Peter Gabriel’s So, his mix of traditional Senegalese Mbalax with eclectic influences, ranging from Cuban samba to Hip Hop, jazz, and soul, has won him an international fan base of millions. Last seen at the Kennedy Center to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps in 2011, NDOUR still dominates the global stage while also serving as Minister Advisor to the President of Senegal.

“Applauded around the world as one of the most beloved African musicians of our time, singer-songwriter Youssou NDOUR is an inspiring example of the power of the artist’s voice in society. Known as the ‘King of Mbalax,’ the popular music of Senegal, he has helped expand traditional music into a style that is completely modern, and an affirming expression of national identity,” says Artistic Advisor-at-Large Renée Fleming. “Similarly, through his work as a politician and media innovator, he has also evolved the centuries-old West African tradition of the Griot: a troubadour, poet, and historian with a special place in the community. To me, Youssou NDOUR embodies John F. Kennedy’s belief that the life of the arts is close to the center of a nation’s purpose.”

The Renée Fleming VOICES series includes performances by outstanding artists from a wide range of genres including Broadway, jazz, pop, and opera. The 2018–2019 season continues with Youssou NDOUR (Tuesday, October 30, at 8 p.m.), Cécile McLorin Salvant (Saturday, November 17, at 7:30 p.m.), Nellie McKay (Friday, February 8, 2019, at 7:30 p.m.), Robert Fairchild (Wednesday, March 13, at 7:30 p.m.), mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton (Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.), Theo Bleckmann (Thursday, April 4, 2019 at 9 p.m.), and Patina Miller (Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.).


Tickets ($29-$89) are available from the Kennedy Center Box Office, online at, and by calling (202) 467-4600. To purchase a subscription for the Renée Fleming VOICES series, patrons should visit the Box Office, call the Subscription Office at (202) 416-8500, or go to Groups of 20 or more may contact the Kennedy Center Group Sales office at (202) 416-8400.


Renée Fleming VOICES is a concert series at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Curated by legendary soprano Renée Fleming, the VOICES series heralds the extraordinary power and vitality of the human voice across a wide range of genres, including Lawrence Brownlee, Billy Childs, Alan Cumming, Rinde Eckert, Cynthia Erivo, Megan Hilty, Ute Lemper, Jane Monheit, and Gregory Porter among others.

“The range of human vocal expression is virtually limitless—there are as many kinds of VOICES as there are kinds of people. My goal for this series at the Kennedy Center is to celebrate the best singing in styles that may be familiar, and also to expose audiences to types of vocal music that might be totally new to them,” says Ms. Fleming. “From the classical song recital, to cabaret, bluegrass, rap, and world music, the common thread will be vocalism of exceptional quality or innovation, representing a diverse range of styles.”

The performances offered in Renée Fleming VOICES will take full advantage of the Kennedy

Center’s wealth of performance spaces. Each concert has been scheduled in a venue with the size and acoustic character that best suits the music; featured performance spaces range from the intimate 160-seat Jazz Club to the expansive 2,465-seat Concert Hall.

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The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is America’s living memorial to President Kennedy. Under the guidance of Chairman David M. Rubenstein and President Deborah F. Rutter, the nine theaters and stages of the nation’s busiest performing arts facility attract more than three million visitors to more than 2,000 performances each year, while Center-related touring productions, television, and radio broadcasts reach 40 million more around the world.

The Center produces and presents performances of music, dance, comedy, and theater; supports artists in the creation of new work; and serves the nation as a leader in arts education. With its artistic affiliates, the National Symphony Orchestra and Washington National Opera, the Center has produced more than 300 theatrical productions and dozens of new ballets, operas, and musical works, in addition to hosting numerous international cultural festivals. The Center’s Emmy® and Peabody Award-winning The Kennedy Center Honors is broadcast annually on CBS and annual The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor is broadcast on PBS.

The education programs of the Kennedy Center, including those of its affiliate VSA, the international organization on arts and disability, have become models for communities across the country and have unlocked the door to learning for millions of young people. Education at the Kennedy Center produces and presents age appropriate performances and educational events, and fosters innovative programming, curriculum, and professional development for students, teachers, and families.

The Center and its affiliates stage more than 400 free performances by artists from throughout the world each year on the Center’s main stages, and every day of the year at 6 p.m. on its Millennium Stages, which are also streamed live, online. The Center also offers reduced and complimentary tickets to young people, active members of the military, and the underserved through its MyTix program and offers a Specially Priced Tickets program for students, seniors, persons with disabilities, and others with fixed low incomes.

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Support for Renée Fleming VOICES is provided by the Buffy and William Cafritz Family Foundation.

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