One of the inspirations behind the very first WOMAD festival will head to WOMAD New Zealand 2012, along with a line-up of musicians, bands and performers from all corners of the globe.
The programme for WOMAD New Zealand 2012 was tonight launched at Parliament and features the Master Drummers of Burundi whose early ‘80s performance inspired the first WOMAD festival in 1982.
Artistic director Drew James says it is apt to mark the 30th anniversary of WOMAD internationally by bringing the truly spectacular Master Drummers of Burundi to New Zealand.
“Once again we have managed to secure a brilliant line-up for WOMAD New Zealand with a particularly strong African contingent headed by the drummers along with one of the greatest stories of triumph over hardship, Staff Benda Bilili; and the up and coming livewire Dobet Gnahore.
“With another 15 countries represented, alongside a strong New Zealand flavour, WOMAD New Zealand 2012 will bring new sounds and experiences from all over the world.”
WOMAD New Zealand 2012 takes place at New Plymouth’s Brooklands Park and TSB Bowl of Brooklands from 16-18 March. Early bird tickets are on sale now until Friday 11 November.
With artists hailing from 17 countries including Palestine, China, Japan, Ivory Coast, France, Romania and Burundi, WOMAD New Zealand 2012 is truly an international festival.
Described by Rolling Stone Magazine as “Australia’s most important voice”, Gurrumul returns to WOMAD for the 2012 Festival. Solo performances by this multi-award winning musician are rare treats for music lovers. Other WOMAD favourites making a return visit are the globetrotting French band Lo’Jo and India’s master santoor player Shivkumar Sharma.
From Africa comes the Master Drummers of Burundi; Ivory Coast singer Dobet Gnahore, who is fast becoming known as one of Africa’s great female voices; and Staff Benda Bilili – a group of polio-afflicted musicians who were discovered living on the streets and whose music has raw power and fragile delicacy.
Palestine’s Le Trio Joubran features with the great Yousef Hbeisch on percussion; while Europe brings France’s ‘Mad Hatter’ Chapelier Fou – a classically trained violinist who melds together classical, electronic and acoustic sounds looping string instruments and a synthesizer; Spain’s Diego Guerrero y El Solar de Artistas and Romanian Gypsy funksters Mahala Rai Banda. The UK’s Mad Professor – known for the Ariwa studio and label and for the Dub Me Crazy albums – mixes dub sounds at WOMAD New Zealand 2012; while the Sharon Shannon Big Band from Ireland mixes rock, funk, Cajun and country.
California’s Groundation’s spiritual roots reggae sound will feature at WOMAD New Zealand 2012; while from China comes Anda Union – a 10-strong band whose music digs deep into traditional Mongolian history. Japan has two acts featuring this year – Pascals, a 14-piece acoustic orchestra featuring a variety of toy instruments; and Sivouplait, a mime couple performing a series of short sketches of the perfect couple in love.
Narasirato Pan Pipers from Solomon Islands bring their music and traditions and from Australia comes a strong contingent of musicians including multi award-winning blues and roots musician Ash Grunwald; sassy soulstress Mama Kin; Melbourne’s The Bombay Royale who revive funky and bizarre music from vintage Indian cinema productions; and Latino-tinged roots rockers Watussi.
The New Zealand music line-up features one of the newest music projects – Pajama Club (with Neil and Sharon Finn); ever-popular reggae act The Black Seeds, Adam Page performing solo and with Riki Gooch in Band of Thousands; Christchurch singer songwriter Amiria Grenell; the dynamic Batucada Sound Machine; a special collaboration between Minuit and Wellington-based Indonesian music ensemble Gamelan Taniwha Jaya; blues musician Paul Ubana Jones; award-winning Maori kapa haka from Te Matarae I Orehu; original ukulele trio The Nukes; and The Yoots performing their blend of calypso-ska and country-soul.
“With more artists to be announced in January 2012, WOMAD 2012 is shaping up to be one of the best,” Drew James said.
WOMAD New Zealand 2012 is the eighth WOMAD to be held at the stunning New Plymouth site.
As well as 30 hours of music on the seven stages, WOMAD New Zealand 2012 features artists in conversation, Taste the World – this year hosted by Masterchef runner-up Jax, artist workshops, a global village, sustainable village, Kidzone and the option to camp at the adjacent racecourse. Seniors have special viewing platforms at the three main stages with seating, shade and free water sponsored by TSB Bank.
WOMAD is an international festival created by Peter Gabriel and Thomas Brooman in 1982. Since then 21 countries have hosted the festival and entertained millions of festival goers.
Tickets for WOMAD New Zealand 2012 are now on sale through Ticketek. Early bird three-day adult tickets are available for $199 until Friday 11 November with 300 early bird youth tickets available for $154 until they sell out. Camping tickets are also available including Ezicamp options which include rental of a tent and air bed for $130 (including camping fee). All tickets are subject to Ticketek transaction fees and are available through Ticketek on 0800 TICKETEK (842 538) or http://www.ticketek.co.nz. The full line-up and detailed information is available on the WOMAD website www.womad.co.nz