MORE ARTISTS JOINING WOMAD’S 35TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS
MORE ARTISTS JOINING WOMAD’S 35TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS
Thirty-five years on from the first WOMAD that introduced the world’s music to keen-eared and curious music fans, the festival remains the best on the planet. Today WOMAD announces even more artists for its annual celebration of musical delights from every corner of the globe.
The most enduring band from reggae’s heyday TOOTS AND THE MAYTALS are effectively a human jukebox primed to play all their hits and more – Funky Kingston, Do The Reggay, Monkey Man, Pressure Drop… And they still more than cut it live, delivering a life-affirming experience topped by the exuberant presence and soul-heavy voice of ‘Toots’ Hibbert himself.
Another musical giant is saluted this year on the 20th anniversary of his death. Fela Kuti was the out-and-out godfather of Afrobeat, the heady, funk-heavy sound of ’70s Nigeria, and celebrating the great man comes a perfectly assembled cast – ROY AYERS, SEUN KUTI AND EGYPT 80. Jazz-funk legend Roy made the brilliant Music Of Many Colors album with Fela back in 1980, while Seun – Fela’s youngest son – is the greatest protector of Kuti Sr’s legacy. At the age of just 14, he took over his late father’s Egypt 80 band and continues to energetically lead them today.
With her explosive mix of hip hop, cumbia, dancehall and reggae, the Cuban singer, flautist and percussionist Yaite Ramos Rodriguez, aka LA DAME BLANCHE will make her WOMAD debut delivering her powerful, compelling and extraordinary sound fusion. Born in Havana, she grew up in the heart of an awe inspiring musical cauldron that included her father, Jesus “Aguaje” Ramos; an exceptional trombonist and the artistic director of the Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club.
A joyful noise is also made by those dance-punk stalwarts !!! (known verbally as ‘chk chk chk’). Drawing from disco, house, electronica and rock, theirs is a perfect soundtrack for our hard-to-define times – and it’s a soundtrack that invites – nay, compels – your limbs to fire into action.
NICK MULVEY offers a rather more reserved musical experience, but it’s one that no less nourishing. In a world where singer-songwriters are ten a-penny, his delicate, confessional songs standing out from the crowd, creations as neatly constructed as those of his previous band Portico Quartet.
But that’s far from the whole story. Hailing from all over the map, from Iran to Italy, Holland to Havana, the covers are off the following artists too, those offering musical discoveries yet to be made…
Amsterdam Klezmer Band (The Netherlands)
Hard-blowing seven-piece delivering that spiralling, effervescent klezmer sound.
Trance-inducing collaboration that pitches Cuban melodies with Iranian electronica.
Clap! Clap! (Italy)
Italian DJ/producer whose Afrocentric creations have snagged ears and set tongues
a-wagging. Gilles Peterson and Paul Simon are among his fans.
Daymé Arocena (Cuba)
This wonderfully voiced young diva occupies musical territory that’s equidistant between Nina Simone and Celia Cruz.
Hannah Peel & Tubular Brass (UK)
Mike Oldfield’s classic Tubular Bells reimagined by electronics wiz Hannah and her brass-blowing pals.
House Gospel Choir (UK)
No ordinary gospel choir, this lot. Instead, they set their voices to the uplifting and euphoric sound of classic house tunes.
Ifriqiyya Électrique (Tunisia/France/Italy)
Another ground breaking collaboration finds sufi ritual music from North Africa melding with post-industrial sounds from Europe.
Kate Simko & London Electronic Orchestra (US/UK)
Six-piece strong ensemble led by the American electronics/multi-instrumentalist. One for fans of Steve Reich and Philip Glass.
Lively Mali-set project led by the French musician -M- and which features the likes of Toumani Diabaté and Fatoumata Diawarra.
Mamadou Diabaté’ & Percussion Mania (Burkina Faso)
The balafon – the West African xylophone – has few better practitioners than this forward-facing musician from Burkina Faso.
Maya Youssef (Syria)
The kanun is a 78-string, zither-like instrument which, in the fast-moving hands of London-based Maya Youssef, is beautifully evocative of her Syrian homeland.
(members of) The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians (Syria)
With civil war displacing Syrian musicians across Europe and beyond, this Africa Express-generated project reunites the country’s finest players in an inspiring, goose bump-inducing celebration.
Trembling Bells (UK)
Ever-interesting Glasgow-based psych-folk outfit who’ve collaborated with Bonnie Prince Billy. Stuart Maconie calls them “so wild, so British, so exciting”.
Noureddine Khourchid & the Whirling Dervishes of Damascus (Syria)
A further salute to the music and culture of the beleaguered country – and a dizzying dance display too.
With even more still to be revealed (watch this space!), these artists join those packing their instruments for Wiltshire include;
Afro Celt Sound System (UK) // Alsarah & the Nubatones (Sudan//USA) // Beating Heart (UK) // Benjamin Zephaniah and the Revolutionary Minds (UK) // Bill Laurence (UK) // Bixiga 70 (Brazil) //Bokanté (USA//Guadeloupe)// Bombino (Niger) // Bonga (Angola) // Chico Trujillo (Chile) // Don Kipper (UK/Greece/Serbia) // Eliza Carthy and the Wayward Band (UK) // Emir Kusturica and The No Smoking Orchestra (Serbia) // Ghada Shbeir (Lebanon) // Goat (Sweden) // Grupo Canalón de Timbiquí (Colombia) // Inna de Yard (Jamaica) // Jamie Smith’s Mabon (UK) //Kakatsitsi, The !Gubi Family & Bwiti (Ghana/Nambia/Gabon) // Khmer Rouge Survivors (Cambodia) // King Ayisoba (Ghana) // King Gurcharan Mall and the Dhol Blasters (India//UK) // Kuenta I Tambu (Netherlands) // Kourelou (Greece/UK) // Ladysmith Black Mambazo (South Africa) // Las Cafeteras (USA) // Leyla McCalla (USA/Haiti) // Maarja Nuut (Estonia) // Meta Meta (Brazil) // Msafiri Zawose (Tanzania) // Nomade Orquestra (Brazil) // Officina Zoe (Italy) // Orchestre Baobab (Senegal)// Orkestra Mendoza (USA) // Oumou Sangaré (Mali) // Parvathy Baul and Somjit Dasgupta (India) // Rajab Suleiman and Kithara (Zanzibar)// Raquel Tavares (Portugal) // Savina Yannatou (Greece) // Shobaleader One (UK) // Spooky Men’s Chorale (Australia) // Taiko Meantime (UK) // Tanzania Albanism Society (Tanzania) // The Nile Project (Egypt/Ethiopia and more) // The Ska Vengers (India) // Tom Middleton (UK) // Trad Attack! (Estonia) // Vesevo (Italy) // Viguela (Spain) // Xaos (Greece//UK) // Zhou Family Band (China)