Hot on the heels of the first announcement of artists confirmed for this year’s WOMAD Festival, we’re delighted to reveal a further 25 acts who’ll be appearing at Charlton Park on the last weekend of July.
LAURA MVULA has had a phenomenal past couple of years, during which time she’s proved she’s far more than just the latest product on the conveyor belt of British retro-soul singers. “I will never be what you want,” she sang on her hit That’s Alright and, indeed, her highly inventive and original arrangements mark her out as someone both different and very special.
Another performer making their WOMAD debut is TIKEN JAH FAKOLY, the Cote d’Ivoire-born, Mali-based singer/musician who is, along with his fellow countryman Alpha Blondy, arguably Africa’s biggest reggae star. It’s a privilege to finally bring him to Charlton Park.
He’s not a debutant, but it’s equally exciting to be welcoming back MAHMOUD AHMED & BADUME’S BAND. One of the absolute highlights of the magnificent Ethiopiques reissue programme that dusted off classic ’60s and ’70s recordings from Ethiopian music’s golden age, Mahmoud remains a gripping artist with a voice that still soothes and soars in equal measure.
Aside from Laura Mvula, there are plenty of strong, strident female voices at this year’s event. We’re delighted to also be welcoming the return of SOUAD MASSI to our stage, the Algerian singer-songwriter who combines skin-prickingly beautiful musical creations with timely judgments on the world around her.
Appearing at Charlton Park soon after the release of his new album Shedding Skin, the Mercury Prize-shortlisted ‘anti-rapper’ GHOSTPOET is one of the sharpest chroniclers of our times, an artist who finds leftfield inspiration in many places, among them alt-rock, electronica and Afrobeat. Also verbally dextrous are THE CORRESPONDENTS, the kings of electro-swing who are widening their sound to incorporate dirtier, more contemporary urban styles.
These are but a few of the artists being announced today. The others are…
Count Drachma (UK)
Spin-off from folkie combo Stornaway that specialises in Zulu maskanda grooves from South Africa.
Delaney Davidson (New Zealand)
Freewheeling, widely travelled and be-suited, this is how Kiwis do alt-country. Very well indeed.
Hossam Ramzy (Egypt)
Evergreen percussionist in an all-star collaboration at WOMAD.
Much-admired duo signed to the influential XL Recordings label, as well as being the twin daughters of the late Buena Vista Social Club percussionist Anga Diaz.
Jambinai (South Korea)
Wiry and experimental post-rock that also draws on Korea folk traditions. Sweet Seoul music.
Kočani Orkestar (Macedonia)
Absolutely sensational brass band from deep in the heart of the Balkans.
Lee Fields & The Expressions (USA)
Real-deal old-school soulman, plus his sharper-than-a-box-of-razors band.
Luke Vibert (UK)
Doyen of UK electronica through his work for such seminal labels as Warp and NinjaTune.
Luzmila Carpio (Bolivia)
Distinctive, tres-strumming troubadour. Quite possibly the first Bolivian artist at WOMAD since Rumillajta in 1984.
Noura Mint Seymali (Mauretania)
The desert blues of north-west Africa, as declared by this great singer (and stepdaughter of the legendary Dimi Mint Abba).
Orquesta Típica Fernández Fíerro (Argentina)
High drama from Buenos Aires’ terrific 24-legged tango orchestra.
Red Baraat (USA)
Horn-heavy “Brooklyn bhangra party explosion” who fold funk, jazz and go-go into their fantastic mix.
Lokkhi Terra & Shikor Bangladesh All Stars (Bangladesh/Cuba/UK/Cyprus)
Striking new collaboration between the visiting All Stars and the London-based Afro-Bangladeshi Afrobeat/Latin outfit.
Real World-signed quartet with widescreen acoustic tune. True English originals.
Tashi Lhunpo Monks (Tibet)
Sacred music and chanting, as featured on The Archers. “Almost transcendental,” said Ambridge busy-body Linda Snell.
Impossibly talented – and fabulously eclectic – pianist whose admirers include Herbie Hancock, Gilles Peterson, Trilok Gurtu and Jools Holland.
Folk-rocker and ethnic Mongolian who acknowledges his roots through the medium of throat-singing.
The Very Best (Malawi/UK)
Ever-intriguing collaboration between London producers Radioclit and Malawian singer Esau Mwamwaya.
These artists join the impressive list of performers who’ve already been confirmed for WOMAD Charlton Park 2015 – De La Soul, Tinariwen, Bellowhead, 47 Soul, Acholi Machon, Aurelio, Banda Magda, Dona Onete, ESKA, Ester Rada, Kala Chetena Kathakali Company, Kim Churchill, L’Hijâz’Car, Malmesbury Schools with Tomorrow’s Warriors, Molotov Jukebox, Orange Blossom, Orchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp, Osaka Monaurail, Sagapool, Shantel & Bucovina Club, Sona Jobarteh and Swindle.
This is a mere taste of what’s to come at WOMAD Charlton Park 2015.
WOMAD is a feast of culture. Apart from experiencing the hottest musicians and inspiring new talent from around the world there is always much more to discover throughout the festival.
There is the popular Taste the World stage where some of the artists will show off their cooking prowess and Taste The World Restaurant will lay on sumptuous spreads of local, seasonal and completely natural food from all around the globe.
The All Singing All Dancing Tent will make a welcome return with firm favourites; the early-bird yoga sessions, sabar dance lessons and Japanese taiko drumming. In World Rhythms you can drum to your hearts content with the best drummers from around the world and listen to the musician very own inspirational stories.
The World of Wellbeing, located throughout Charlton Park’s lush arboretum, offers an oasis of treatments, therapies, discussions, workshops and spaces to simply get away from the bustle of the main arena. And for those who fancy a luxurious moment to themselves and a scrub up, the WOMAD spa, complete with treatments, spa pools, sauna, boundless showers and a cocktail bar, is the place to go.
WOMAD’s World of Art will once more see invited artists use the entire festival site as a giant canvass on which to create specially commissioned pieces and the World of Words to debate and discuss the things that matter in the world we live in.
Festivalgoers can experience the sights, smells and tastes of the festival’s diverse food traders, shop ’til they drop in the Global Market or simply enjoy the vintage rides at Carter’s Original Steam Fair.
The dedicated kids zone World of Kids will be bursting with things to see with the usual wide-ranging programme of workshops, entertainment and activities around the theme Myths, Legends and Folktales from around the world. On Sunday afternoon the much-loved Children’s Parade, one of the festival highlights, will wind its way through the festival site. WOMAD continues its well established place as the best festival for the whole family, by allowing all children 13 years and under, in for free.
WOMAD – The World’s Festival