HomeOpinionThe Life and Night of Chaka Khan

The Life and Night of Chaka Khan

“She’s my sister and my biggest inspiration,” Prince can be heard saying on the giant screen at the AGEAS Cool Jazz stage. “He’s the greatest of all time,” said Joni Mitchell, in a video that included testimonials from the likes of Stevie Wonder, Michelle Obama, Whitney Houston and Grace Jones.

These brief interviews were included in the presentation of the legendary 71-year-old American artist, Chaka Khan, who was at the Hipódromo Manuel Possolo, in Cascais, to perform the first of two shows in the Iberian Peninsula (the second will be in Ibiza, Spain), with the aim of celebrating the 50 years of his career.

The video provides context on the career of Yvette Marie Stevens, the real name of the woman who became known as the Queen of Funk, explaining that she won ten Grammy Awards and was influential in different musical styles, she was the first artist to mix R&B with rap, through the version of I’m sorry for youby Prince.

But if we look around us on Wednesday evening, all this explanation and information seems pointless. The flood of colourful coats and impressive hairstyles that filled the festival grounds indicated that the faithful of this legend needed no introduction to the story of Khan’s life.

The sentiment was reflected when the artist, who will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2023, took the stage, accompanied by a talented band (including two drummers) and a group of dancers, and launched into success. This is my night.

As soon as the first synth sounds rang out, most people felt transported to a hot, sweaty dance floor in the 80s “This is my night / I’m gonna do it right / I’m gonna let this magic shine through,” sang diva Chaka, with the help of the chorus, the perfect announcement of what that night would be like.

Although Chaka Khan’s voice often had to be supported between songs with the help of the choir, as happened, for example, in Do you love what you feel? — when it came time to reclaim his legendary falsetto, there was no one who could compete with his powerful voice.

Acknowledge the evidence: In this case, the talented vocalists who made up the chorus, with a talent crossed with an attitude that impressed, figured prominently in carrying the lyrics to the end — but it was Khan’s scream, especially in I’m sorry for youwhich made the souls present travel to dance paradises.

The artist may no longer have the stamina and energy to endure a concert that lasts more than an hour from start to finish; she even had to take a break halfway through the concert, which allowed a DJ to perform a remix of a series of American songs (and The music sound better with you from Stardust), with faster BPM and the performance of the dancers, but it still has the power to make us feel and remember the influence it left and that continues to manifest itself today.

If Khan’s music continues to pack a punch and sound fresh in his live performances, it’s also because he’s surrounded himself with an impressive cast of musicians who help ensure his funk remains warm and sensual. The bassist, in particular, impressed with his technique and delivery, delivering tracks like tell me something Good More intensity and attitude.

But anyone who thinks that during this whole hour of concert it was just about dancing to the sound of funk would be wrong. The artist showed all her eclecticism by presenting Sweet thing with elements that hinted at reggae, or I remember youwhich allowed us to create a more intimate moment, with the vocalist dancing with one of her dancers, moved by the soul and R&B of this song.

However, the biggest hits were left for last. After a version of Everywhere from Fleetwood Mac (where both of the group’s drummers got a chance to shine), Khan released the party anthem I am every womangoing crazy at the Hippodrome of Cascais. The bodies lost all inhibitions and, above all, embraced, danced and celebrated.

While our brains were still busy with basic arithmetic like “how many children have been born to the sound of these songs,” Chaka Khan was in the final stretch of the concert, with is nobody serving as a farewell to a great performance.

Without further ado, the artist left the stage and let the attention focus on the instrumentalists, who were in charge of taking the concert to its destination: the one where the good memories remain.

Before Chaka Khan took the stage, British singer Morcheeba delighted with a nostalgic trip-hop spin, as did Onoma, winners of the AGEAS Cool Jazz Talents competition. The evening was brought to a close by a DJ set by Alex D’Alva Teixeira. AGEAS Cool Jazz concerts return on July 19 with Dino D’Santiago and Maro.

Source: Observadora

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