Image Credit: Amandala
Tonight, Wednesday October 18, at an esteemed event at The Grand Hall in Wellington’s Parliament Buildings, surrounded by international delegates and WOMAD advocates, WOMAD NZ announce the 2018 artist line-up.
The internationally established three day world music, arts and dance festival is known for its exciting and diverse line-up and next year’s event is no exception.
WOMAD NZ 2018 is a melting pot of folk, afro-funk, hip hop, classical, jazz and punk rock performed on violins, ouds, koras and squeeze boxes. With artists from countries as varied as Canada, Chile, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon and Mauritania delivering a blend of traditional and modern performances; expect diverse languages, cultures, harmonies and rhythms from the big names and to discover glorious artists you’ve never heard of.
Announced this evening are familiar festival favourites; the pioneer of bass-dominant, dub flavoured dance tunes, UK’s Adrian Sherwood, the heavy metal inspired acoustic guitar duo from Mexico, Rodrigo y Gabriela and Washington D.C. based DJ collective, the uniquely diverse dub inspired Thievery Corporation.
Over the weekend Brooklands Park will ring with sounds from Brazilian 10 piece, Bixiga 70 and their dizzying heights of progressive Afrobeat, Tinariwen’s scorching Mali desert blues and Havana Meets Kingston’s sound-clash of reggae, dub and dancehall with salsa and rumba.
Lebanon’s soulful classically trained Ghada Shbeir and Israel’s vocal hip hop star Victoria Hanna will deliver tales from ancient texts and stories of current social injustices. Chilean political-punk-poet Nano Stern and Ghanaian Jojo Abot who seamlessly blends electronica, indie-soul, reggae and hip hop will be part of a growing global conversation with audiences.
Always a highlight of WOMAD are the talents of local artists and 2018 looks to be one of the most exciting yet with the “toweringly talented song writer” Aldous Harding and Auckland city’s Hopetoun Brown, who will stomp and parp their way into audience hearts with nothing but brass, a bass clarinet, two sets of tambourines and tonsils. West Auckland newcomers, The Miltones will deliver some excellent knee slappin’, foot stompin’ and booty shakin’ and from Taranaki, The Slacks will bring home some classic kiwi messages of unity, aroha, and community.
Previously announced; Los Angeles saxophonist, composer and jazz superstar Kamasi Washington, the Indian classical and progressive sitar virtuoso Anoushka Shankar and classic Kiwi band Dragon complete the 29 exciting and eclectic artists from across the globe who will be performing at WOMAD 2018.
“WOMAD 2018 is a fantastic representation of World music of today and continues supporting diverse voices on stages. An incredible weekend of musical discovery with artists from around the globe.” – Emere Wano, WOMAD Event Director & NZ Programme Manager.
Artists appearing at WOMAD 2018 in alphabetical order:
ADRIAN SHERWOOD (UK), ALDOUS HARDING (Aotearoa), ANOUSHKA SHANKAR (India/UK), BIXIGA 70 (Brazil), CHICO TRUJILLO (Chile), CONSTANTINOPLE (Canada), DAYMÉ AROCENA (Cuba), DRAGON (Aotearoa), GHADA SHBEIR (Lebanon), HAVANA MEETS KINGSTON (Jamaica / Cuba), HOPETOUN BROWN (Aotearoa), JAMIE MCDOWELL & TOM THUM (Australia), JOJO ABOT (Ghana / USA), KAMASI WASHINGTON (USA), LEMON BUCKET ORKESTRA (Canada), LE VENT DU NORD (Canada), MY BUBBA (Sweden/ Iceland), NANO STERN (Chile), NOURA MINT SEYMALI (Mauritania), PAT THOMAS & KWASHIBU AREA BAND (Ghana), RAHIM ALHAJ TRIO (Iraq), RODRIGO Y GABRIELA (Mexico), SPOOKY MEN’S CHORALE (Australia), THE MILTONES (Aotearoa), THE SLACKS (Aotearoa), THIEVERY CORPORATION (USA), TINARIWEN (Mali), VICTORIA HANNA (Israel), VIOLONS BARBARES (France/Mongolia/Bulgaria)
Meet your WOMAD 2018 Artists
Adrian Sherwood is a pioneer of bass-dominant, dub-flavoured dance tunes who has inspired and shaped reggae and contemporary electronic music through his label/collective, On U Sound. Since the early ‘80s he has thrown his heart, soul and intelligence into his work, collaborating with big names from outside the dub community as well as shaping his own distinctive sound.
(NZ / Aotearoa)
Aldous Harding does more than sing. She shape-shifts through a variety of roles: chanteuse, folk singer and balladeer -all executed with her twisted touch of humour and quiet horror. Her powerful work recently saw her become a finalist in the prestigious Silver Scroll Awards.
Deeply rooted in the Indian Classical tradition and gifted with her father’s ability with the sitar, Anoushka Shankar comes to WOMAD to share her musical innovation. With a multitude of accolades including five Grammy nominations, Anoushka is a bold composer. She is also an impassioned supporter of women’s rights and social justice.
BIXIGA 70 (BRAZIL)
Bixiga 70 takes Afrobeat to dizzying heights with their progressive approach; adding elements of funk, traditional South American styles, electronics and a touch of psychedelia. Named after the melting pot district from the highly creative Sao Paolo music scene, this 10-piece brings dynamic rhythms and an irresistible party atmosphere.
Chico Trujillo have been touring their explosive cocktail of party music around the world for almost 20 years. With a sound rooted in classic cumbia, they shake up the mix with reggae, bolero and rumba and draw on the energy and feistiness of their ska/punk past
For nearly twenty years the ensemble Constantinople have explored musical diversity through the lens of ‘East meets West’, an ever changing melting pot, much like the city after which they are named. Their inspiration for their Jardins Migrateurs performance is a poetic meeting between strings and voice, with griot Ablaye Cissoko adding kora in a celebration of life and nature.
Singer, composer, arranger and bandleader, Daymé Arocena was recently dubbed by The Guardian as ‘Cuba’s finest vocalist’. The young Afro-Cuban artist, mentored by Gilles Petersen and winner of the prestigious Juno Award in 2015, has a rich understanding of her heritage but is also constantly finding new musical inspiration and connection through her love of soul and jazz.
(NZ / AOTEAROA)
Dragon have produced a stack of rock
anthems everyone knows the words to. Formed in New Zealand in 1972, this legendary band has been inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame and continues to tour their hit music throughout the world.
With a deep passion for classical Arabic music since she was a child, Ghada Shbeir has devoted her life to exploring and adapting ancient texts and inspirational poetry through her beguiling vocals. Her repertoire moves between Middle Ea
stern folk, Arabo-Andalusian songs and Syriac ancient Maronite chants, shedding new light on powerful and traditional music
HAVANA MEETS KINGSTON
Australian producer Mista Savona has created a soundclash with a difference, bringing roots reggae, dub and dancehall together with son, salsa and rumba. The 14-piece Havana Meets Kingston band boasts the he
avyweight rhythm section of Sly and Robbie and members of Buena Vista Social Club, Los Van Van, Chucho Valdes and Inna de Yard.
HOPETOUN BROWN (NZ / AOTEAROA)
Wowing crowds up and down the country with their unique flavour of blues, dance, soul and stomp, the duo jump between trumpets and trombones or bass clarinets and saxophones as they parp through a unique repertoire pulled from two critically acclaimed Top 40 albums.
JAMIE MACDOWELL & TOM THUM
One is good with his fingers, the other is good with his mouth. Beatbox sensation, Tom Thum –best known for the most watched TEDx talk of all time: Beatbox Brilliance –joins forces with bohemian singer-songwriter Jamie MacDowell to create original, genre-defying music that is ‘redefining musical parameters’.
JOJO ABOT (GHANA/USA)
Born in Ghana, Jojo Abot is an artist expressing herself through music, film, photography,literature and performance art. Part of creative communities in Accra, Copenhagen and New York, her experimental blend of electronica, Afrobeat, jazz, neo-soul, house and reggae is an empowering and hypnotic exploration of spirituality and identity.
KAMASI WASHINGTON (USA)
When Kamasi Washington unleashed his phenomenal work, The Epic, in 2015, he stamped his mark as an exciting and essential new voice in jazz. His understanding of the past and embracing of new directions sees him weave together hip hop, ecstatic jazz, R&B and progressive music to create a harmonious force that will leave you breathless.
LEMON BUCKET ORKESTRA
Lemon Bucket Orkestra is a guerilla-punk-balkan-folk-brass band massive like no other. Tracing their genesis back to the streets of Toronto, the original quartet of busking troubadours quickly amassed a battalion of like-minded musical souls and the full-blown, dozen plus strong Orkestra was born.
* We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.
LE VENT DU NORD (CANADA)
Quebec is renowned for its eclectic and progressive folk ensembles since the 1960s and Le Vent du Nord is a driving force in the scene. Combining virtuosic hurdy-gurdy, squeeze box, bouzouki and violin with stamping feet and four part harmonies, it will be hard to resist their
joie de vivre.
MY BUBBA (SWEDEN / ICELAND)
This captivating contemporary folk duo has won fans the world over with their ‘lullabies from the countryside’. Guðbjörg (Bubba),from Iceland, plays guitar and banjo and My, from Sweden, plays the Norwegian Cittra (lap harp) and, against this simple framework, their sweet vocals create an intimate and spellbinding atmosphere.
NANO STERN (CHILE)
Born into a family of musicians and activists, it comes as no surprise that Nano Stern began his musical life in the underground punk rock scene and followed it up with classical and jazz training. With his deep respect for Chilean poetry and music traditions evident in every passionate show, it’s a welcome return to the festival for a musical force who instils hope in those who are hungry for social justice.
NOURA MINT SEYMALI
Noura Mint Seymali’s scorching Afro-funk desert blues have seen her rise to become a leading light of African music. Having performed regularly with her stepmother, the late, great singer Dimi Mint Abba, her goal now is to modernise the music of Mauritania. Prepare to be entranced by a powerful voice and some truly psychedelic guitar lines.
PAT THOMAS & KWASHIBU AREA BAND (GHANA)
One of Ghana’s all-time greatest vocalists, Pat Thomas was a mainstay of the ‘70s and ‘80s vibrant Highlife music scene. After a stellar 50 years performing with the likes of Ebo Taylor and Tony Allen, his funk-driven self-titled 2015 album put him back on the map and proved that he’s still at the top of his game.
RAHIM ALHAJ TRIO (IRAQ)
Rahim AlHaj creates intricate compositions that reference the pain of exile and the hope of new beginnings. One of the world’s great oud players, he started playing at the age of nine and was soon recognised as having a remarkable talent. He brings his trio featuring Iranian santour and Arabic percussion that combine traditional Iraqi maqams with contemporary influences.
RODRIGO Y GABRIELA (MEXICO)
Having bonded over a love of heavy metal in their home country of Mexico, acoustic guitarists Rodrigo y Gabriela moved to Dublin where they turned to busking to make a living. They have since become one of the most recognisable duos on the planet, with their electrifying live shows fusing fiery lead lines and phenomenal rhythmic battery with intricate, soaring rock.
SPOOKY MEN’S CHORALE (AUSTRALIA)
A vast, rumbling, steam powered and black clad vocal behemoth, seemingly accidentally capable of rendering audiences moist eyed with mute appreciation or haplessly gurgling with merriment. The Spooky Men seek to commentate on the absurdity and grandeur of themodern male armed only with their voices, a sly collection of hats and facial hair, and a twinkle in the eye.
(NZ / AOTEAROA)
A razor-sharp blues and bayou folk-frenzy, West Auckland quintet The Miltones has been sending ripples throughout the NZ music scene since their 2014 inception. Previously supporting Jamie Lawson and The Mick Fleetwood Blues Band, 2017 saw The Miltones unleash their own debut –an infectious celebration of life that the New Zealand Listener gave 4.5/5 and the NZ Herald dubbed: “the freshest sound in New Zealand popular music right now”.
THE SLACKS (NZ / AOTEAROA)
Sure to put a smile on your face, The Slacks describe their music as a mix of country ska, progressive hillbilly, fizz-pop and rock. This four-piece band have opened for New Zealand rock royalty, Hello Sailor and have recently hit the airwaves with their bilingual single Big Aroha.
Few artists are as diverse as Thievery Corporation, moving from Indian classical to trip-hop, French torch songs to Bossa Nova and electronica with consummate ease.Having soldmillions of albums over the past 20 years, their latest release The Temple of I & I dives deep into Jamaican music, but the real magic of ‘the Thieves’ is the unexpected twists they conjure up when they perform live.
Scorching desert blues will hit WOMAD NZ with the Grammy Award winning Tuareg guitar masters, Tinariwen. Their songs preach peace and rebellion, sharing experiences of struggle and freedom, as well as celebrating the beauty of their homeland. This is hypnotic, uplifting music that is a salve for difficult times.
VICTORIA HANNA (ISRAEL)
Victoria Hanna, raised in an ultra-orthodox household in Jerusalem, found a way to express herself and overcome her stutter when she discovered secular music, and the result is most unexpected. A singer who performs Aramaic hip hop and wild, hypnotic and rhythmic raps on ancient Hebrew texts, Hanna is an experimentalist who is both unpredictable and bewitching.
Having met in France while working on the Silk Road project with renowned violinist YoY o Ma, this trio of musicians from three wildly different cultures formed Violons Barbares in search of new sounds. Using the Mongolian violin (the Morin Khur), the Bulgarian Gadulka and percussion, it’s an irresistible fusion of energetic rhythms and harmonies.
ABOUT WOMAD NZ 2018:
The internationally established three day festival brings together artists from all over the globe to celebrate the world’s many forms of music, arts and dance.
WOMAD festivals are family-oriented, diverse and active international musical events. Since the first festival in the UK in 1982, WOMAD has held more than 160 festivals, including 13 in New Plymouth – WOMAD 2018 sees the festival celebrate its 14th anniversary in the stunning 55-acre Brooklands Park and TSB Bowl of Brooklands. Over the years WOMAD NZ has rightfully gained a reputation as one of the most beautiful outdoor festivals in the world.
As an organisation, WOMAD now works in many different ways, but their aims are alway the same – at festivals, performance events, through recorded releases and though educational projects, they aim to excite, inform and create awareness of the worth and potential of a multicultural society.
The main stage is set at the base of a natural amphitheatre and not only provides a stunning setting, but an acoustic experience second to none. The other three stages are located throughout Brooklands Park, with every square inch oozing the vibrancy of WOMAD.
The maximum capacity for WOMAD is 15,000 ticket holders per day so you’ll never feel like you are in a mosh pit – in fact bring a blanket and enjoy refreshments in stylish chill out areas, watch a cooking demonstration or explore the stalls and workshops, the kids will be entertained at Kidzone with workshops especially for them spread over the weekend. WOMAD’s not just music! There’s plenty of other things on site to discover, come along and soak up the warmth of the WOMAD vibe.
The WOMAD campsite is situated next to the festival within the New Plymouth Racecourse and TSB Stadium. The festival site is also located a short distance from New Plymouth’s centre, if you book early you could even get a motel or hotel or house close enough to walk.
WOMAD New Zealand 2018 is on at Brooklands Park, New Plymouth, from March 16 to 18. Tickets on sale from www.womad.co.nz