WOMAD Festival announced more names for the 2009 edition of the festival: Paris-based Algerian chaabi stylist Kamel El-Harrachi. Down and dirty Spanish soul funk outfit The Sweet Vandals. The all drumming-dancing-singing Creole Choir of Cuba. Gallic-fueled, Louisiana-inspired Cajun sounds from Sarah Savoy & the Francadians. The phenomenon that is London-based Latin jazz D.J Snowboy. WOMAD returns this summer to Charlton Park in Malmesbury, Wiltshire, from 24 to 26 July 2009.
More exhilarating performances: Kuwaiti-born Arabic jazz-guitarist Kamal Musallam Musical theatre from 30-strong Zimbabwean troupe Zambezi Express. Trinidadian calypso, pop, reggae and sunshine courtesy of the UK’s finest steel band, Reading’s very own Raspo. Live jazz and hip-hop dance moves from French company Styl’O’Styl.
Mongrel are the most talked about indie supergroup in Britain. With a nucleus comprising Babyshambles’ Drew McConnell, British-Iraqi rapper Lowkey, the Arctic Monkeys’ original bassist Andy Nicholson and the vertiginous, mohawked John McLure of Reverend and the Makers, this unapologetically political outfit play hip-hop flecked rock that is direct and angry, blissed-out and beautiful.
Cimarrón deploy the fast, fiery joropo llanero of the mestizo people of the Orinoco plains of eastern Colombia; cattle herders for whom music accompanies many daily tasks. Having won Grammy nominations and wowed international audiences with their ‘turboflamencojazz’, the all-star team of instrumentalists and singers – including silver-fingered harpist Carlos Rojas – bring their once-heard, never-forgotten sabor colombiano to WOMAD.
Female Geordie quartet Rachel Unthank and the Winterset play music that sends critics stampeding to their thesauri for superlatives. Epic, intimate, magical music as tough as it is gentle and as ancient as it is modern. Mercury Music Prize-nominated music that both celebrates and reinvents the English folk genre; music from the heart, the soul and sometimes even the feet.
Radiokijada is a group led by two very different musicians-come-conceptualists: the Peru-born, Cuba-trained composer and percussionist Rodolfo Muñez and the Swiss electronica exponent of the Gotan Project, Christoph H. Müller. Together, armed with percussion instruments including the quijada – a skeleton of the lower jaw of a donkey – they transform Afro-Peruvian traditions with the tools of modern technology.
As he did at the South Bank Centre in June 2008 British actor Pete Postlewaite will present his English version of the ‘welcome to country’ address for The Black Arm Band – the collective of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal artists whose music symbolizes resilience and hope, wrapped up in the spirit of reconciliation. In Australia ‘welcome to country’ is given before indigenous performances by a local elder.
A whole other world of discovery awaits at the BBC Radio 3 Stage over in Charlton Park’s stunning arboretum. Here is charismatic Malagasy singer/songwriter Nogabe Randriaharimalala. Award-laden English folk hipster Jim Moray and his shimmering experiments in sound. Belgium/Slovakia’s Mec Yek and their passionate Balkan beats. UK legend Dennis Bovell and his expansive, big-bottomed dub.
World music radio guru Charlie Gillett will feature three special recording sessions to be aired on his celebrated radio show World on 3, BBC Radio 3’s dedicated Friday night world music programme. Confirmed so far are Berlin folk-rockers 17 Hippies and members of indigenous Australian collective The Black Arm Band.
Here, too, is Deaf Shepherd (UK); Malick Pathé Sow (Senegal); Gochag Askerov (Azerbaijan); Hindi Zahra (France/Morocco); Channi Singh Bhangra Band (India), Mamer (China), Ba Cissoko (Guinea); Victor Démé (Burkina Faso) and the Dhoad Gypsies of Rajasthan (India).
More acts will be announced in the next weeks.
Booking line: 0845 146 1735
Adult Weekend Ticket: £122
Teenager (14-17 Year Olds) Weekend Ticket: £59
Disabled Weekend Ticket: £122
Day Ticket: £60
All Children (13 and under): Free
Official WOMAD Website – www.womad.org