Category Archives: General News

WOMEX 2017 Came to a Close in Katowice Today

Oumou Sangaré receives the WOMEX 2017 Artist Award from Bintou Simporé – Photo by Yannis Psathas

World Music Expo WOMEX 2017 concluded today, Sunday, October 29, with a performance by Malian singer Oumou Sangaré, who received this year’s WOMEX Artist Award. The concert was part of a closing ceremony in Katowice’s grand concert hall NOSPR that also honored WOMEX 2017 Award winners Petr Dorůžka (Professional Excellence Award) and Glitterbeat (WOMEX Label Award).

Attendance this year encompassed 2600 professionals (including 303 performing artists) from 90 countries representing 1400 companies.

WOMEX 2018 will take place October 24 – 28 in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain.


Giant Steps Announces Music Action Lab 2.0, a Wide-Ranging Diverse Series of Events, Workshops, And Sessions

Giant Steps Music has announced the launch of its Music Action Lab 2.0 starting on September 25, 2017 that includes an exclusive calendar of events, workshops, and sessions. The Music Action Lab is a ground-breaking music residency uniting musicians from across the globe to create social influence music, and to develop the next generation of musical changemakers. More information can be found at

The Music Action Lab 2.0 features nine musicians across the globe including Rona Nishliu (vocals) from Kosovo, Sevana Tchakerian (accordion, vocals, flute) from Armenia, James Brandon Lewis (saxophone) from the U.S., Kauzeni Lyamba (flutes, sax, percussion, vocals) from Tanzania, Erika Oba (piano, flute) from Japan/USA, Avery Waite (cello) from the U.S., Chris Bastian (bass) from the U.S., Ernesto “Matute” Lopez (drums) from Nicaragua, and Kasiva Mutua (percussion, vocals), from Kenya.

The four week lab sessions are spread throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, in California, but end in their fourth week in Ixtapa, Mexico. Dates and locations can be found here.

Music Action Lab 2.0 Sessions (Calendar)

>> Full PDF Schedule Download <<

Friday, September 29, 3:30-7:30pm
Open Rehearsal at University of San Francisco

Other sessions open to USF:

Sunday, October 1, 5pm, Open Mic and Jam Session

Madrone Art Bar, San Francisco

Tuesday, October 3-Thursday, October 5, 1-5pm
Eric Harland Residency. Ambrose Akinmusire residency Oct 4-5

Thursday, October 5, 5:30pm
Performance at Morgan Simon’s Book Launch, Real Impact: The New Economics of Social Change, Oakland
Info and tickets here:

Tuesday, October 10, 5:30pm, SOCAP Conference, Fort Mason, San Francisco

A mainstage plenary music-poetry performance with Halloran Philanthropies on Human Well-Being, followed by sneak preview debut of Music Action Collective

Friday, October 13, 7pm
Recording Session at 25th Street Recording, Oakland

Partner is double0one

Saturday, October 14, 8pm, Ashkenaz
World Premiere Concert, Berkeley


WOMEX Announces 2017 Film Program

A story of Sahel Sounds

The World Music Expo (WOMEX) program will be screening a set of world music-related film documentaries from around the globe to the delegates and public alike. Filmmakers will be available to present their new work and strengthen the ties of the global music film scene.

Julian Chalde & Andrés Mayo will present Charco – Songs from the Rio de la Plata, a discovery into the origins of rioplatense song; Maciek Bochniak, Mikolaj Pokromski and Francis Falceto will introduce Ethiopiques – Revolt of the Soul as a market screening before its upcoming world premiere; Vincent Moon & Priscilla Telmon are arranging a series of Hibridos short films, an experimental study of current day spiritual cults in Brazil; and Lisa Nordström & Pether Lindgren are showcasing Sonica Sequence an audio-visual film experience about connecting through the universal language of music rather than speech and are officially closing this year’s Film Program at WOMEX.

Other screenings include A story of Sahel Sounds, Ayny – My Second Eye, Sonido Mestizo – The Nu LatAm Sound Ecuador, and The Little Princes of Rajasthan.


World Culture Open, World Music Shanghai & Cambodian Living Arts to Bring World Music to Asia in Flourishing Project

World Culture Open and World Music Shanghai have joined forces with Cambodian Living Arts to bring world music performances to the public in China, South Korea, and for the very first time, Cambodia. From September 23 to November 11, a music carnival will unite all three countries in a series of world music festivals that are free and open to the public: World Music Shanghai in China, REPfest in Cambodia, and Better Together Concert in South Korea.


Gao Bowen


World Music Shanghai celebrates its 10th edition this year from September 23 to Oct 7, presenting world music experiences to audiences in Shanghai, Wuhan, Chongqing and Foshan cities through music sharing, creation, and beyond in public urban spaces.

With 24 acts and musicians from over 25 regions around the world, audiences will be able to enjoy a series of performances by eclectic artists such as Chinese pingtan singer and storyteller Gao Bowen, acoustic quartet DakhaBrakha from Ukraine, Somalian vocalist Sahra Halgan, Arabic music ensemble Tarabband from Sweden, and more. In addition to performances, the festival also offers experiential activities, where educational and family-oriented workshop that promise a fully immersive world music experience.





Sahra Halgan


The festivities continue from October 27-29 in Siem Reap, home of Angkor Wat and center for living heritage in Cambodia, in the form of REPfest; an international festival dedicated to World Music, drawing artists from around Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, and Japan for three days of performances, workshops and forums.

Developed and presented by local arts organization Cambodian Living Arts (CLA), with support from World Culture Open (WCO) and Mekong Cultural Hub (MCH), REPfest will focus on the Greater Mekong region’s “living heritage”; the art, culture, and everyday practices that shape people’s lives.

Artists of diverse styles and backgrounds from will gather to share their experiences and skills, and sow the seeds for future collaboration in the region. In addition to showcases and performances, there will also be workshops where artists can learn from each other and engage with the audience on a more personal level. The full lineup will be announced on September 27 and made available on Cambodian Living Arts’ website.

Song Seng, CLA’s Heritage Hub Manager, said “REPfest is a great chance to bring together artists and audiences from the Mekong region, so people can get to know each other, explore our shared heritage, and continue our stories together. Siem Reap’s temples, its status as the birthplace of Cambodian culture remind us of the thread between generations – our music, arts and culture came from generations past, and now it’s the role of artists today to build on this, create new work, and keep our culture alive and relevant for future generations.”




Besides China and Cambodia, audiences in Korea too will enjoy access to world music performances this fall. Inspired by the success of the Jeju World Music Oreum Festival in Jeju last October, World Culture Open is bringing another world music delight to Korea this year: Better Together Concert.

As part of World Culture Open 2017, a creative gathering of global changemakers, the Better Together Concert will be held on November 10-12 at the revitalized Old Tobacco Factory in the historic city of Cheongju.

Dedicated at large to the theme of empathy, Better Together Concert will present music and artistic performances that celebrate cultural diversity and togetherness. Artists that will be taking audiences into a creative wonderland together include prominent Rwandan singer-songwriter Jean Paul Samputu, Israeli acoustic band Gulaza specializing in Yemenite Women Songs, and the world-renowned U.S. vertical ballet troupe Bandaloop.




Jean Paul Samputu


It truly is an exciting collaboration. We have grown from two countries last year to three Asian nations today, and we look forward to having more countries and regions join in, and inspiring more international collaborations in the years to come,” says Kseniya Tsoy, from Connect&Collaborate at World Culture Open. “We hope the festivals will allow more and more people to connect with themselves and with one another, as music truly is humanity’s common language, connecting us beyond borders and spoken languages. Aesthetically beautiful and socially interactive, music is one of the most engaging and accessible ways to connect to our shared humanity, and such an amazing way to learn about new cultures.”

All three events are non-profit initiatives free and open to the public, and are committed to providing space for cultural exchange through music. The partners endeavor to grow this joint initiative into one of monumental influence in Asia, where the public can enjoy free and open access to world music performances and workshops, and audiences and musicians alike can discover new cultures in an engaging and enriching journey together.

More information at:

headline photo: DakhaBrakha


The Jazz Foundation Collecting Funds for Blues, Roots & Jazz Musicians affected by Hurricane Harvey

The Jazz Foundation has started connecting with dozens of jazz, blues, and roots musicians in areas affected by hurricane Harvey. The Jazz Foundation assists artists by repairing homes, replacing belongings and treasured instruments and even replacing work.

A donation to The Jazz Foundation will provide basic necessities, clothing, bedding, instrument replacement, home cleaning and decontamination, rent/mortgage payments, car repairs, home reconstruction and financial support.

The Jazz Foundation brought over 1000 musicians and their families back after Katrina, by rehousing, donating top shelf instruments and creating paying gigs for hundreds. They were there for hundreds affected by Superstorm Sandy, and rebuilt the homes of the musicians who lost everything in last year’s devastating floods in Baton Rouge.

Donation link:


bendigedig, New Welsh Music Label

Gwyneth Glyn – Photo by Andy Morgan

ARC Music Productions International and Theatr Mwldan in Wales have formed a new independent record label called bendigedig. bendigedig will be producing a limited number of fully supported albums, working on an integrated and sustainable model, in partnership with the artists involved.

The first release is ‘Tro’ by Welsh singer-songwriter Gwyneth Glyn.


Toko Telo at the Top of the Transglobal World Music Chart in August 2017

Toy Raha Toy, the debut recording by Malagasy superband Toko Telo is the number one album in the Transglobal World Music Chart for August 2017. The trio includes guitarist and vocalist D’Gary, vocalist and percussionist Monika Njava and accordionist and vocalist Régis Gizavo.

This was Règis Gizavo’s final album. He died on July 16, 2017.