Wyclef Jean, master collaborator, plays Cleveland's House of Blues on Tuesday.
started out as one-third of the Fugees. But after Lauryn Hill revealed herself to be batshit crazy, Wyclef started focusing on his stellar solo career, which he launched back in 1997 with The Carnival. Since then, he’s collaborated with just about everybody with a record contract -- including Mary J. Blige (in “911,” a landmark recording), Shakira (the knockout “Hips Don’t Lie”), and the South Park gang (um, “Bubblegoose,” from the Chef Aid CD). (For more on those collaborations, read "'Clef Hangers,"
from this week's issue of Scene).
Wyclef’s latest album, Carnival Vol. II: Memoirs of an Immigrant, takes the original Carnival’s concept -- get a bunch of genre-spanning artists to play with him -- even further, featuring appearances by Paul Simon, Norah Jones, and even the singer from System of a Down. It’s a wild mix that culminates in a 13-minute “Carnival Jam” that’ll leave you breathless. Hopefully the stage show will do the same. -- Michael Gallucci
Wyclef performs at 8 p.m. Tuesday, January 22, at House of Blues. Tickets are $32, available by calling 216-523-2583. For a preview, listen to “Touch Your Button Carnival Jam” below: