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 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 www.giantstepsmusic.org
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 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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
Applications are now open for Music Action Lab 2.0, a program described as a one month of nonstop creativity, music, and social innovation. The lab is targeting musicians seeking to use their music for peace building and social change, creating a new musical language based on social justice principles.
During four weeks, Fellows will learn leadership skills, design innovation, and social entrepreneurship from international experts, and create entirely collaborative new music under the mentorship of professional recording artists that will conclude in a series of live concerts and a full album.
Thanks to its core programs partners, the San Francisco 49ers Academy, Fellows will experience state-of-the-arts multimedia studio space and the opportunity to mentor local area youth. Fellows will also debut their music in Mexico at the international poverty alleviation “un-conference” Opportunity Collaboration, in front of an audience of hundreds of thinkers and leaders in social change.