WOMAD 2022 Final Artist Announcement!

Posted on 26 April 2022

We’re excited to present the final additions to the WOMAD 2022 lineup including GILBERTO GIL & FAMILY, LIANNE LA HAVAS, OSIBISA, KANDA BONGO MAN, COMORIAN, JASDEEP SINGH DEGUN and many more.

We’re very proud that over the past four decades we have seen over three hundred festivals around the world, with over ten thousand artists performing across six continents, to an audience of millions. We can’t wait to party for our 40th anniversary at Charlton Park with you all again!

Take a look below to find out about the newest additions to this year’s exciting lineup…

No stranger to gracing the WOMAD stage Gilberto Gil & Family, a godfather figure within Brazilian music during the last half-century returns. From cultural outcast to culture minister, he has been in the vanguard of the country’s numerous musical movements, most notably in the 1960’s with MPB, tropicália and samba – and now he is back again to celebrate the festival’s 40th anniversary.

This year, the wonderful British singer-songwriter Lianne La Havas will make her WOMAD debut. In the past decade she has forged a boundary-free musical identity, one that delivers an easy dialogue between soul, pop, folk, and jazz. And that theme continues; most recently, Lianne has collaborated with none other than fellow WOMAD 2022 artist Kae Tempest on their single No Prizes.

Kanda Bongo Man, who played in 1983, will bring back to WOMAD the invigorating sound of Congolese rumba, heard ubiquitously in Zairean soukous during the 1980s. Decades later, he still knows how to set a dance floor ablaze. Osibisa brings to the mix their self-authored sub-genre of Ghanese Afro-rock which put a pep in the step of the 1970’s rock scene. Adding the sound and flavour of both Africa and the Caribbean, these adopted Londoners scored big with the likes of Sunshine Day, providing the soundtrack of those long hot summers.

We’re especially fortunate to be able to welcome Folknery, the Ukrainian folk band who will be making their debut at the festival. They’re a free-folk band, founded by Volodymyr Mulyar (on percussion and mouth organ) and Yaryna Kvitka (on vocals and wheel lyre), who travelled around Ukraine on bicycles, collecting authentic songs and reinventing them with a fresh new modern vision and intriguing sound. One to watch out for. Comorian will also make their WOMAD debut, bringing with them the acoustic sounds from the Indian Ocean archipelago of Comoros, one of the smallest nations in the world. Comprised of band members M’madi and Soubi, who feature a homemade double-sided guitar, Comorian’s debut album, We Are an Island, But We’re Not Alone was named one of the best of the year by Folk Radio UK and given a 4-star review in The Times. It was recorded live by Grammy-winning producer and author Ian Brennan (Tinariwen, Ustad Saami, Malawi Mouse Boys).

Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwals, the world’s foremost qawwali group, makes a welcome return to the WOMAD stage. With four albums for Real World Records under their belts, the honey-voiced brothers Rizwan and Muazzam Mujahid Ali Khan have proved themselves to be worthy torchbearers of the tradition, taking on the flame following the death of their uncle Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Jasdeep Singh Degun is a new signing to Real World Records – the Leeds-born-and-raised virtuosic sitar player will bring his own take on the northern Indian classical tradition. His new album Anomaly will be released on 06 May with much anticipation, and he has previously collaborated with artists such as Guy Chambers, Cerys Matthews, Melanie C and fellow WOMAD 2022 artist Nitin Sawhney.

Further artists joining the line-up include: Abel Selaocoe, a South African genre-bending cellist who is on a mission to take his instrument to places it’s never travelled before through collaborating with jazzers, beatboxers and world musicians. Ásgeir, who will play songs from his highly successful debut album, of which one in ten Icelanders own a copy, with the former Javelin-throwing champion today making beautifully wistful neo-folk instead.

DJ Kobayashi will bring his unique style which he curates from all four corners of world music, which varies from global funk to Middle Eastern grooves  incorporated with electronic beats. Cheng Yu – Silk Breeze will bring the delicate and timeless sound of rural China from Cheng Yu and her quartet. She plays both the pipa (a four-stringed lute) and the gugin (a seven- stringed zither) with poise, grace, and virtuosity. Gonne Choi is a South Korean singer-songwriter, with singing and writing in English, who has a strong grasp of what makes an engaging troubadour – primarily a bell-clear voice, beautiful guitar, and uncomplicated tunes. File somewhere between Joni Mitchell and Norah Jones. Gypsy Hill, a band whose music is an intoxicating mix of balkan brass, mediterranean surf rock, ska & swing. Featuring guitars, horns, tuba, a scratch DJ, and a mix of live and electronic beats, they effortlessly mix the traditional with a uniquely modern sound.

Los Wembler’s de Iquito, four brothers who reign from the Peruvian side of the Amazonian jungle who, back in the ’60s, fused the local sound of cumbia with psychedelia to create a swampy, Dick-Dale-in-the-tropics sound. Lova Lova, the stage name of unmissable Wilfried Luzele in his trademark cyber-punk specs and distinctive scarlet tunic, who mashes together punk, dub, dancehall, rock, and deliciously wiry Congolese guitar lines. His songs rage against the ills faced on the streets of his hometown Kinshasa, in particular the spectres of pollution and corruption. This is a man reinventing the music of Kinshasa, one rebel yell at a time.

Taxi Kebab, a duo consisting of Leïla Jiqqir and Romain Henry who provide dark, heavy electronica, “disorientated and disoriential” as they self-describe, with a North African accent. Imagine a darker-sounding Hot Chip soundtracking a night-time drive through Moroccan streets. Trash Kit are a post-punk three-piece who induce comparisons with The Slits and The Au Pairs, but who also slip discernible African influences into both guitar and drums. Tantz’s music promises pedal-to-the-metal klezmer and Balkan beats which are the name of this six-piece’s game – a riotous assembly of wild clarinet, anarchic fiddles and shirts-off punk energy.

Alostmen, winners of the Best Newcomers category at the Songlines Music Awards, a band of Ghanaians who combine the traditional sound of the two-stringed kologo with a more contemporary sensibility that places groove at the heart of their music. The Spirituals, as their name suggests, are a choir of young black Londoners who take centuries-old spirituals and reinterpret and rejuvenate them for the 21st century. Both soul deep and sky high. Last but certainly not least, The Soul professor returns to WOMAD’s decks, having been spinning seven-inch vinyl for the delectation of others’ for more than half a century, to play his collection of the rarest and funkiest tunes. And that is far from all.

There are more secrets to reveal, and plenty more reasons to feel cheerful about a certain weekend in July. Watch this space!

WOMAD 2022 Tickets here.