The Center for the Arts is pleased to present California WorldFest, one of the most anticipated music festivals of the year, from July 13-16, 2023 at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley, California. 

Headlining the festival this year is the prolific Angélique Kidjo. 

Angélique Kidjo will headline the California Worldfest. Photo by Fabrice Mabillot
Angélique Kidjo will headline the California Worldfest. Photo by Fabrice Mabillot

Five-time Grammy Award winner, Beninese artist, and songwriter Angélique Kidjo received the most prestigious award in music, the 2023 Polar Music Prize in May of 2023. Since the inaugural ceremony in 1992, the Polar Music Prize has been renowned as music’s most prestigious honor. It has been celebrating the achievements of some of the world’s most important and inspiring musical figures for over three decades. The prize is presented in Stockholm in the presence of the Swedish Royal Family. Each Laureate will receive prize money of 600,000 Swedish Kroner (US $57,384). 

Previous recipients of the Polar Music Prize include Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Peter Gabriel, Chuck Berry, Ennio Morricone, Led Zeppelin, Patti Smith, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Kronos Quartet, Joni Mitchell, Elton John, Metallica, Iggy Pop, Ravi Shankar, Renée Fleming, Miriam Makeba, Wayne Shorter, Sofia Gubaidulina and many more. 

Kidjo reflects, “To be awarded the Polar Music Prize is humbling. I have no words to say how important this is for me. It comes with a sense of responsibility that is bestowed upon me as an artist to continue to do great work. I will do my best to be a proud recipient of the Prize through my work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, on behalf of the children, and as an ambassador of music, to help create a world in which we can all live in peace. Thank you so much for making me part of this prestigious Prize, in such prestigious company.”

The Polar Music Prize awards committee which selects the Laureates is an independent 11-member board. It receives nominations from the public as well as from the International Music Council, the UNESCO founded NGO which promotes geographical and musical diversity.

With 14 albums to her name, Angélique Kidjo is one of the greatest artists in international music today. Time Magazine has called her “Africa’s premier diva” and she has cross-pollinated the West African traditions of her childhood in Benin with elements of American R&B, funk and jazz, as well as influences from Europe and Latin America. She recently released Queen of Sheba with Ibrahim Maalouf from Lebanon. She was awarded her fifth GRAMMY award, marking her twelfth nomination, for best global music album for her 2022 release entitled Mother Nature. The win marks a major milestone for Kidjo – who is now the most-awarded African musician of all time, and has the most wins of any artist in the Global Music Category. Her previous album Celia also won Best Global Music Album, in 2020. Her nominations this year included two in the Best Global Music Performance category: “Do Yourself” from Mother Nature, featuring Burna Boy, and a recording of “Blewu” by Yo-Yo Ma featuring Angélique. 

Mother Nature was released in June of 2021. Met with career-best raves, it tackles major issues like the climate crisis and the struggle for freedom, but in Kidjo’s hands, these themes are translated through music that is radiantly joyful. The album also reinforces her status as a true icon of African music – joined by a host of young African stars that have all been greatly influenced by her, including Burna Boy as well as Mr. Eazi, Yemi Alade, and Sampa The Great. The album led to features, performances, and interviews with the NY Times, Rolling Stone, Amanpour, NPR All Things Considered, NPR Music, Ebro, Tamron Hall and far beyond.

On November 5, 2021, Angélique sold out Carnegie Hall with her “Mother Nature” concert, with help from special guests, including Josh Groban, Andra Day, EarthGang, Ibrahim Maalouf, Cyndi Lauper, and Philip Glass. As if she needs another notable mention, Time Magazine has named Angélique Kidjo as one of the 100 Most Influential People of 2021. Alicia Keys, who collaborated with Kidjo on Mother Nature states, “It doesn’t matter where you are—you hear her, and you become alive. She electrifies people.”

It is a tremendous honor to have an artist of this caliber headlining California WorldFest, July 13-16 at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. Come explore the boundless world of music and get your tickets today at

WHAT: Angélique Kidjo at California WorldFest 

WHERE: Nevada County Fairgrounds 11228 McCourtney Rd, Grass Valley, CA 95949, 

WHEN: July 13 – 16, 2023 

TICKETS: Single-day and multiple-day passes for youth, teens, and adults, and VIP cabana experience:  $20-$1398 (member discounts available)

WEBSITE & INFO: or (530) 274-8384

Since 2000, The Center for the Arts, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization, has grown into a leading presenter of music, dance, theater, comedy, literary and visual art, and family programming, offering more than 150 events per year from its location in downtown Grass Valley. The Center recently completed a major renovation of its multiuse, 21,000-square-foot facility in downtown Grass Valley, making it a premier performing arts destination. The venue includes the Main Stage, which accommodates up to 492 guests in configurable theater seats and up to 700 patrons for dance shows, and a 90-seat studio theater.