17 Oct 2018

WOMAD 2019: second lineup announcement and site changes

From RNZ Music, 8:00 pm on 17 October 2018

Another diverse line-up, as well as exciting site changes have been announced for WOMAD 2019.

Clockwise from top left: Ria Hall, Angelique Kidjo, Finn Andrews, Naida Reid, My Bubba

Clockwise from top left: Ria Hall, Angelique Kidjo, Finn Andrews, Naida Reid, My Bubba Photo: Supplied

Artists from countries as varied as Benin, Belgium, Ireland, Wales, Mexico and Greece are set to perform at the WOMAD world music festival in Taranaki from March 15-17, 2019.

The festival is in its 15th year and will once again take place in New Plymouth’s Brooklands Park and Bowl of Brooklands.

The 2019 lineup includes:

  • Amjad Ali Khan (India)
  • Angelique Kidjo (Benin)
  • Baloji (DR Congo/ Belguim)
  • BCUC - Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness (South Africa)
  • Dona Onete (Brazil)
  • Jamie Smith's Mabon (Wales)
  • La Dame Blanche (Cuba)
  • Las Cafeteras (Mexico)
  • Maalem Hamid El Kasri (Morocco)
  • Maarja Nuut (Estonia)
  • My Baby (Netherlands)
  • Rebetien (Greece)
  • Sharon Shannon Band (Ireland)
  • Silkroad Ensemble (Various)
  • Taiwu Childrens Ancient Ballads Troupe (Taiwan)

NZ artists:

  • Charlotte Johansen
  • Finn Andrews
  • KORA
  • Nadia Reid
  • Niko Ne Zna
  • Ria Hall
  • Teeks
  • The Black Seeds

Another artist announcement is scheduled for late November.

WOMAD has also announced some site changes for 2019. The World Of Words programme - where festival-goers can see top-notch authors, presenters and comedians speak - will have its own dedicated stage for the first time.

Located in the re-vamped Kunming Garden area (where Taste the World was located in 2018), it will also include an upmarket bar serving craft beers, fine wines and gin cocktails.

World Of Words speakers include RNZ Music’s very own Nick Bollinger, as well as locals:

  • Dominic Tourettes Hoey
  • Elizabeth Smither
  • Marama Mullen
  • Marcus Thomas and Neil Silverwood
  • Michael Donaldson
  • Michele A'Court
  • Penny Ashton
  • Pip Adam
  • Sonya Renee Taylor
Nick Bollinger live on Checkpoint at WOMAD 2016

Nick Bollinger live on Checkpoint at WOMAD 2016 Photo: Michael Flynn

More about the artists:

Amjad Ali Khan (India)

Amjad Ali Khan is one of the undisputed masters of the music world. Born to sarod maestro Haafiz Ali Khan, Amjad is widely credited with re-inventing the technique of playing the sarod. Performing as a trio with his sons, Amaan and Ayaan, their work creates a blend between East and West.

Angelique Kidjo (Benin)

In 1980 Talking Heads’ Remain in Light album, heavily influenced by the music of West Africa, caught the attention of a young Angelique Kidjo in Paris. Hearing it again years later sparked the idea of a full circle deconstruction that seemed only natural.

Using Afrobeat horns and percussion, and infusing the lyrics with new meaning, Grammy Award-winning Angelique brings her twist on a classic album to WOMAD in New Zealand.

The Sampler: Remain in Light by Angelique Kidjo

Baloji (DR Conjo/Belgium)

Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo but raised in Belgium, Baloji is a musician, film director and innovative artist. He infuses futuristic funk, soul, rap and Congolese soukous with a poetic political punch.

BCUC – Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness (South Africa)

Imbibed with the spirit of Fela Kuti, this “Afropsychedelic” ensemble blend stirring harmony vocals with extended funk and rock jams that draw deeply on indigenous spiritual traditions. Expect to be mesmerised by startling, high-energy performances that in a short space of time have made them one of South Africa's most successful musical exports.

Charlotte Johansen (Aotearoa)

Charlotte Johansen's lyrics that blend a keen sense of satire with everyday emotional truth. She has three albums to her name and has opened for Dave Dobbyn and Shona Laing.

Dona Onete (Brazil)

Known as the Grande Dame of Amazonian Song, Dona Onete released her debut album when she turned 73 in 2014 - yet she’s been singing all her life. Dona Onete is a vivacious storyteller who joyously sings of love, sex and her life in the Amazon. Her sound is a unique twist on Carimbo, a blend of rhythms from native Brazilians, African slaves and the Caribbean.

Finn Andrews (Aotearoa/UK)

Critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Finn Andrews is best known for his London-based band The Veils. Their explosive and emotive live shows make them one of New Zealand’s most revered exports. 2019 sees a solo album from Finn, who's been likened to both Nick Cave and David Bowie.

Finn Andrews talks to RNZ Music's Alex Behan

Jamie Smith's Mabon (Wales)

Jamie Smith was brought up playing Welsh folk tunes, but quickly embraced traditional sounds from all Celtic countries. His compositions draw influence from a deep knowledge base that isn’t bound to the past. Celebrating two decades of creating Celtic-inspired music, these are joyful, imaginative and bold tunes that are designed to move you.

KORA - (Aotearoa)

Regarded as one of New Zealand’s most electric and sonically powerful live bands, Kora are back to wow this WOMAD. The five-piece band is known for their huge live presence, with vocal harmonies that sail on a powerhouse rhythm section. This diverse and energetic group fuse elements of reggae, rock, dub, roots and funk.

LISTEN: Kora live at The Powerstation

La Dame Blanche (Cuba)

Yaite Ramos Rodriguez is the daughter of Buena Vista Social Club artistic director Jesús 'Aguaje' Ramos, and says she took up the flute at an early age because it was the only way to stay physically close to her family. She sings, raps, dances and plays her way through hi-hop, reggaeton, dancehall and cumbia inspired rhythms.

Las Cafeteras (Mexico/USA)

Las Cafeteras fuse Afro-Mexican, hip-hop, folk and First Nations rhythms into songs of activism and celebration. Generating a genre-bending sound and electric live performance with four versatile vocalists, their lyrically rich storytelling shares the hidden stories of migrant life in Los Angeles.

Maalem Hamid El Kasri (Morocco)

The guembri is a distinctive instrument, a three-stringed bass lute found most in Gnawa, the North African music of former black slaves. In the hands of Hamid El Kasri, the guembri travels the range of emotions, from mournful and melancholic to uplifting and celebratory. And as his fingers pick out their complex melodies, his deep, sonorous voice widens the emotion palette even further. Music that appears on the surface to be simple in fact boasts many layers and hidden depths.

Maarja Nuut (Estonia)

Maarja is a fiddle player and singer who makes haunting, minimal folk music, with electronic textures and loops. She's known for her quirky and haunting storytelling.

My Baby (Netherlands)

Known for their roots-driven sound infused with hints of gospel and blues, and ancient folk melodies, My Baby’s performances have been described as a “voodoo trance experience".

LISTEN: My Baby perform live at the RNZ studios

Nadia Reid (Aotearoa)

Nadia Reid has attained global success and claimed her place as one of the most evocative and profound young songwriters of the decade. With a richness of voice, a depth of emotion and wisdom beyond her years, Billboard Magazine has hailed her as the voice “saving folk music”.

Niko ne Zna (Aotearoa)

Niko Ne Zna is a Wellington Balkan brass band who get dancefloors jumping as soon as they take the stage, packing out gigs around the country. The nine-piece appeared on the soundtrack to Taika Waititi’s vampire spoof What We Do In the Shadows.

LISTEN: Niko ne Zna talk to RNZ Music's Kirsten Johnstone

Rebetien (Greece)

Rebetien performs songs mostly derived from the Rebetiko and the Greek traditional music repertoire, as well as compositions of their own. Their nostalgic sound is reminiscent of the gramophone era, often combined with alternate, yet closely-related, musical styles of various Eastern Mediterranean and Balkan musical traditions.

Ria Hall (Aotearoa)

Ria Hall is a powerful performer, whose sought-after live set has seen her play to audiences of thousands at a number of festivals across Australasia. Winning awards and critical acclaim, her sound fuses hip-hop beats and richly layered vocals in English and te reo Māori, creating a soundscape that embraces and challenges multiple genres.

Sharon Shannon Band (Ireland)

Sharon Shannon is a genre-defying accordion player who is widely respected and deeply talented. Known for broadening the horizons of traditional music in the 1980s and '90s, Sharon is thoroughly versed in Irish music, and mixes her accordion and fiddle playing with all manner of different styles from reggae to country.

LISTEN: Sharon Shannon talks to RNZ Concert's Eva Radich

Silkroad Ensemble (Various)

Founded by superstar cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Silkroad Ensemble is a Grammy Award-winning collective of musicians and composers from more than 20 countries. Their sound is a vibrant odyssey-scale celebration of world music and the beauty of converging cultures and instruments – from tabla to bagpipes, shakuhachi to strings… a Silkroad performance is nothing short of exhilarating!

Pipa virtuoso Wu Man performs live

Taiwu Children’s Ancient Ballads Troupe (Taiwan)

It started with the visionary passion of teacher Camake Valaule and five students from Taiwu Elementary School, to document, perform and hold high the traditional songs of the Paiwan tribal villages. So far the troupe, now an 18-strong choir with band, has unveiled over 40 ancient songs that deal with love, work and ceremonies. They have been described as making “heavenly music that allows one to see the mountains and hear the breeze”.

Taiwu Children’s Ancient Ballads Troupe

Taiwu Children’s Ancient Ballads Troupe Photo: Han Shengzhi

Teeks (Aotearoa)

Steeped in old-school soul and yet glimmering with golden moments that capture the strength of youth, 23-year-old Teeks is an artist with a big future. His velvety voice and boldly honest lyrics have already attracted a legion of devotees, as well as the title of New Zealand’s up and coming soul sensation.

The Black Seeds (Aotearoa) 

Described by Rolling Stone magazine as "The Best Reggae band in the world right now" The Black Seeds infuse their incredible live shows with raw energy and good vibes. While firmly based in the island grooves that inspired the birth of the band, The Black Seeds' sound casts a wide net, layering funk, soul, Afrobeat, and other eclectic elements over dub and reggae.

  • WOMAD 2019: Teeks, Angelique Kidjo and Silkroad Ensemble to perform
  • REVIEW: WOMAD 2018 day one - real and imaginary worlds
  • VIDEO: the sights and sounds of WOMAD 2018
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