First Roskilde Festival World Music Award to Rokia Traoré’s Passerelle Foundation

Rokia Traore
Rokia Traore
The Roskilde Festival World Music Award worth 30,000 euros goes to Rokia Traoré‘s organization that works on professionalizing  Malian music culture. The Roskilde Festival Charity Society founded the Roskilde Festival World Music Award in 2009.

Fondation Passerelle (footbridge foundation), the first winner, was founded by Malian musician Rokia Traoré . An obvious choice, according to Peter Hvalkof who is Roskilde Festival’s booker of world music. "Rokia Traoré performed at Roskilde in 2001 and 2009, and she is well on her way to become the next big star from the African continent. Besides reaping excellent reviews for her music, she is a socially aware and engaged artist. Back-stage at this year’s festival, we witnessed her commitment to the trainees from Mali who worked there," says Peter Hvalkof.

The purpose of Fondation Passerelle is to train and make practical experience possible in artistic and cultural activities in Mali – with a view to prepare the ground for professional work in the longer term. Foundation Passarelle has several development programs in the pipeline, but two concrete projects are ready:

  •  "Yélén ni kounkan" will train sound and lighting engineers in music production as well as provide equipment for use in live events.
  • "Konoya" (the art of singing) will help young singers develop their talent – a.o. using techniques from other cultures than their own, something often inaccessible to these young adults whose sociocultural background excludes them from such advantages.

The overall goal is to professionalize Mali’s rich music culture. According to Rokia Traoré, the current Malian music business lacks structure and it does not generate adequate employment and income.

The ceremony will take place on Sunday, 1 November. The Roskilde Festival World Music Awar will be presented to Rokia Traoré by the Lord Mayor of Copenhagen, Ritt Bjerregaard, on Sunday, 1 November, at the WOMEX Award Ceremony, 12:00 – 14:00 at Bella Center (Auditorium 15), access for WOMEX delegates only.

Rokia Traoré is already attending this year’s WOMEX in Copenhagen, partly as a speaker about Fondation Passerelle and partly to present the WOMEX Award for Professional Excellence to Christian Mousset from France.

The Roskilde Festival World Music Award will be given again in 2010 and 2011, when WOMEX also takes place in Copenhagen.

The Roskilde Festival World Music Award can be presented to societies or organizations that work with creating musical development in locally based music genres in order to ensure a cultural stepping-stone for children and young people in third world countries.

The award is presented by the Roskilde Festival Charity Society on the background of recommendations from Roskilde Festival, WOMEX and EFWMF (European Forum of Worldwide Music Festivals). It is not possible for societies/organizations to apply for the award.

Buy Rokia Traoré’s recordings:

Related websites:

Author: World Music Central News Department

World music news from the editors at World Music Central

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