The lineup includes:
Pacific rhythms pulse through Airileke’s music projects. First it was his Krump band Grilla Step; now it’s the Melbourne-based producer and percussionist’s solo album Weapon of Choice. This is the new sound of urban Papua New Guinea in Australia, with hard new beats that hark back to ancient Melanesian culture.
Ane Brun (Sweden/Norway)
With a distinctive style informed by her fingerpicking guitar and remarkable crystalline voice, Ane Brun defines a proud new style of Scandinavian song. Pure and fragile, her simple, beautiful compositions are the sum of her listening to pop, jazz and classical with traditional folk music from Norway and Sweden.
Antonio Serrano (Spain)
The greatest harmonica player of his generation, Antonio Serrano blows everything from classical to jazz, blues to tango. He tours as a solo performer, accompanying himself on piano and looping pedals, tackling film themes to folk songs, ‘Georgia On My Mind’ to ‘What A Wonderful World’, Bach to Bacharach.
Arrested Development (USA)
In 1992, Arrested Development stood in stark contrast to the gangsta rap- dominated hip-hop scene as a group with a social conscience. Their hits ‘Tennessee’ and ‘Mr Wendal’ brimmed with lyrics of hope and their debut album sold millions. Founding member Speech is still at the helm of this amazing Grammy Award-winning outfit.
Asif Ali Khan (Pakistan)
Asif Ali Khan is the reigning prince of Qawwali music and a favourite student of the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Expanding on his teacher’s legacy with brilliant inventiveness, his vocals effortlessly build from meditative and trance-like to sudden, thrilling crescendos. Accompanied by an exceptional ensemble, this is Sufi music at its most transcendental.
The haunting strains of two Highland bagpipes have become the defining sound of Breabach. This young, multi-award-winning quintet stays true to the origins of traditional Scottish music, while effortlessly and artfully challenging its boundaries. Charming and dynamic on stage, Breabach is the new face of Scottish folk.
The broken sensuality of Buika’s smoky voice captures an emotional charge that is unique. While the passion of flamenco remains at the heart of her music, she sees herself as a singer without limits, collaborating with jazz artists such as Pat Metheny and Chick Corea, alongside Charles Aznavour, Anoushka Shankar and Nelly Furtado.
Carminho is, quite simply, the world’s brightest new fado star. After attending university and travelling the world, the 25-year-old decided that singing the passionate ‘Portugese blues’ was her true calling. Her striking 2011 debut album Fado was named album of the year by Songlines magazine and her emotional performances are truly spine-tingling.
Danyel Waro (Réunion)
Propelled by chants and raucous percussion, maloya is the musical emblem of the French Indian Ocean island of Réunion – and Danyel Waro is its most important ambassador. Musician, poet, instrument-maker and militant supporter of Creole culture, Waro brings together the island’s essential African, Asian and European influences in pulsing rhythms that are stirring and infectious.
Delaney Davidson (New Zealand /Aotearoa)
Winner of the New Zealand Country Music Album of the Year 2013, Best Country Song 2013 and 2012, Reigning Champion of One Man Band 2011 in Zurich, third in the Saddest Song in the World Berlin. Delaney Davidson alternately rips tears and pours his up tempo art blues the world over carving a name for himself in Europe and USA on his 10-year endless tour.
DJ Yoda (UK)
Q Magazine have declared DJ Yoda “one of the ten DJs to see before you die”. With trail blazing technology he transforms the average night out into a fusion of clubbing and the movies. His latest lauded artist long player, Chop Suey (2012) features vocalists including Boy George, Alice Russell and the legendary M.O.P.
Dub Inc (France / Algeria)
Darling of Europe’s festival circuit, yet ignored by the mainstream media, Dub Inc conveys a host universal messages through the sheer energy of their live shows. French roots-reggae revivalists, this extraordinary seven-piece band combines dancehall, dub, ska and hip-hop, African and Arab music, sung in a mix of languages.
Emel Mathlouthi (Tunisia)
Emel Mathlouthi is a protest singer with a voice of jasmine. Her song ‘Kelmti Horra (My Word Is Free)’ became the anthem of the Arab spring and lit the way for the future of Tunisian music. A powerful live performer, Emel’s music is lyrical and melodic, with unexpected touches of rock and trip hop.
Kimbra (New Zealand/Aotearoa)
Kimbra’s performance at WOMAD 2014 will be her first NZ show in over a year. She has carved out a magnificent reputation as live performer, relentlessly touring the globe for the last two years, thrilling audiences with over 140 shows in 2012, including three tours of the US. As a recording artist, Kimbra has scooped two Grammys, 5 NZ Music Awards and two ARIAs.
La Chiva Gantiva (Colombia/Belgium))
Taking Colombia’s rich musical history as its starting point, la Chiva Gantiva has mixed a Molotov cocktail of rock, rap, soul and ferociously funky Latin rhythms. Formed in Brussels by expat Colombian musicians, La Chiva Gantiva are a truly explosive mix of danceable, percussion-heavy sounds that takes cumbia, funk and Afrobeat to giddy new heights.
Latinaotearoa (New Zealand/Aotearoa)
Latinaotearoa is a unique and truly legitimate three-piece Latin act which blends Latin-funk, soul, and hip-hop to create a sound with a local flavour. Jennifer Zea’s sultry singing layers Bobby Brazuka’s beat selections beautifully, with Isaac Aesili providing the percussion. This trio is sure to get feet shuffling and hips swinging.
Los Coronas (Spain)
This is surf music Spanish style, all tangled up in Spaghetti Western themes and drenched in reverb. The Madrid instrumental quintet first put on their cowboy hats and slung on their guitars in 1991, mixing rock ’n’ roll intensity with the 1960s Californian surf sound, lively marching-band pasodoble and flamenco.
Hawaiian guitarist Makana has been hailed as a star by Metallica’s Kirk Hammett and flamenco master Pepe Romero. He has evolved his own dynamic, high-octane style of slack key guitar, transforming the 200-year-old tradition into a modern sound bathed in bluegrass, rock, blues and raga that’s been dubbed ‘slack rock’.
Moana & The Tribe (New Zealand/ Aotearoa)
Moana & The Tribe stand out as one of the most significant voices of Maori music. Politically conscious, they get their groove on in 2014 with a fat, new rhythm section all set to dirty up the sweet harmonies of the female vocalists and deliver an edgier feel alongside soulful singing and the raw energy of live haka.
Hailed as the future of Afrosound, Mokoomba represent Zimbabwe’s next generation of hope. An exuberant young band fronted by powerful and intense vocalist Mathias Muzaza, their songs are about typical southern Africa issues; social ills, the HIV pandemic, love and the Zimbabwean determination to never give up.
Osaka Monaurail (Japan)
Japan’s funkiest orchestra takes its lead, unashamedly, from James Brown. Ryo Nakata drops into the splits and howls a soulful scream while his sharp suited 7-piece band purrs like a high-performance soul machine. Deriving its name from the JB’s 1975 funk hit, Osaka Monaurail celebrated its 20-year anniversary with its first North American tour in 2012.
Pokey LaFarge (USA)
With hair slicked back, archtop guitar and a wide smile, Pokey conjures a modern ‘Midwestern dustbowl’ sound from early jazz, string ragtime, country blues and swing. However, as Pokey and his acoustic five-piece backing band is quick to declare, “It’s not retro music. It’s American music that never died.”
Red Baraat (USA)
Hard-driving North Indian Bhangra rhythms meet elements of jazz, go-go music and hip-hop in the thrillingly original Red Baraat. Founded by Sunny Jain (ex-Norah Jones, Junoon) in Brooklyn in 2008, the band’s live shows delve into Punjabi music and Bollywood rhythms and in and out of funky brass improvisations.
Roberto Fonseca (Cuba)
Roberto Fonseca is the new lion of Latin jazz. The former piano prodigy of The Buena Vista Social Club has over the last decade grabbed Cuban music by the horns and dared to explore the rhythmical hotbed of where Cuba meets Mali. On stage, Roberto is an irrepressible piano-hammering force of nature.
Likened to having the energy of The Pogues, the raucous Chinese indie folk quartet Shanren plays traditional instruments alongside amplified Stratocasters. Formed in the mountainous, mysterious Yunnan province, Shanren promotes the colorful but largely unknown heritage of ethnic minority tribes from Southwestern China, re-interpreting their regional folk songs with vigour.
Sam Lee & Friends (UK)
The rising star of the English folk scene, Mercury Prize nominated Sam Lee injects youthful vigour and enthusiasm into the old songs of the British Isles. With his spirited and unconventional six piece band on homemade, mongrel instruments, he is twisting the perception of what ‘traditional folk’ should sound like.
The Bads (New Zealand/Aotearoa)
In a former life, as The Julie Dolphin, Brett Adams and Dianne Swann toured extensively in the UK, opened for Green Day, Oasis and Radiohead among others. Now back in NZ as The Bads they have released two albums and are regular contributors to many of NZ music’s biggest names.
Tim Finn (New Zealand/Aotearoa)
Acclaimed singer/songwriter and founder of legendary New Zealand band Split Enz, Tim Finn performs songs from his solo career as well as classic songs from Split Enz and Crowded House. He will be supported by critically acclaimed Auckland band, The Bads, who will join Tim on stage in various combinations to perform songs from his impressive back catalogue.
Waiora (New Zealand/Aotearoa)
Waiora create soundscapes with lush textures from guitar, percussion and vocals as well as the many sounds of taonga puoro, flutes, trumpets, percussive and wind instruments. Horomona Horo, takes the listener on a dynamic journey, incorporating traditional culture and the original uses of the instruments in a contemporary musical idiom.
Weird Together (New Zealand/Aotearoa)
Weird Together is the new studio and live project from NZ Producer/DJ extraordinaire Dick Johnson and George FM Breakfast and Making Tracks host Nick Dwyer. Weird Together celebrates their shared love of exotic global sounds, showcasing their vibrancy while giving them a massive club overhaul, engineering big-room dance music fit for the festival stage.
* WOMAD NZ, Friday 14 to Sunday 16 March 2014, Brooklands Park and TSB Bowl Of Brooklands, New Plymouth. Tickets available from www.womad.co.nz
FULL DISCLOSURE: CONTAINS ELEMENTS OF THE OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE.