WOMADelaide announces initial artist line-up

Youssou N'Dour_editorialWOMADelaide has announced its initial line-up of 25 international artists, led by legendary Senegalese singer, percussionist and social revolutionist, Youssou N’Dour; for the 2015 festival to be held in Adelaide’s Botanic Park in March.

Returning for his third appearance, Youssou N’Dour boasts a career spaning over three decades, including a recent period as Senegal’s Minister for Culture and Tourism, and an attempt at the countries presidency. N’Dour is today one of the most influential cultural figureheads within political and musical circles in Africa.

A pioneer of the prevalent Senegalese dance music known as mbalax, a fusion of popular western music and dance blended with the Senegal’s traditional griot percussion and praise-singing. Youssou N’Dour is hailed as the man who brought Senegalese music to the world.

WOMADelaide Director, Ian Scobie, said that it is a real honour to again host Youssou N’Dour, an artist who played the very first WOMADelaide in 1992.

“Youssou’s long standing relationship with WOMADelaide and its fans is something we hold very dear. He is a true leader on and off the stage and it’s a privilege to again exclusively host him at WOMADelaide in 2015.”

Further bolstering WOMADelaide’s initial announcement is the inclusion the transatlantic folk super-group, The Gloaming. Merging traditional Irish folk with New York contemporary, The Gloaming create an inimitable fusion of music that is as sparse and sacred, as it is rich and authentic.

Consisting of New York pianist Thomas Bartlett, sean-nos singer Iarla Ó Lionaird, Chicago guitarist Dennis Cahill, fiddler Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh and fiddle master Martin Hayes; The Gloaming is a group of virtuoso musicians that have gone on to sell out some of the worlds most prestigious venues including London’s Union Chapel, Dublin’s National Concert Hall, at Holland Festival in Amsterdam and Paris’s Cite de la Musique.

Some of the 25 announced artists appearing at WOMADelaide 2015 include: Legendary South African jazz pianist and composer; Abdullah Ibrahim Quartet; the politically edged, beat-­heavy world party sounds of Balkan Beat Box; the nomadic prince of the desert blues, Niger’s Bombino; and American electric blues harmonica player, Charlie Musselwhite.

Reconstructing the past from old public information films, bedded to post-­rock electronica is Public Service Broadcasting, while live cinema is pushed to its limit as projected film is augmented by live music, dialogue performed by actors and recreated sound effects with Live Live Cinema.

Praised for his genuine originality, comes Rufus Wainwright in a special showcase from one of the most beautiful male voices on the planet, while from the USA, Lake Street Drive are a musical curiosity, laced with heavenly harmonies, and injected with an irresistible blend of abandon and precision.

Celebrating the ancient songs and cultural ways of the Andes comes the queen of Bolivian song, Luzmila Carpio; with sexy melodies and her striking appearance, Flavia Coelho defines a distinctive meld of samba, bossa nova and ragamuffin; and finally, Swedish born singer songwriter, rapper and DJ, Neneh Cherry renaissance of avant-electronica and beautiful vocal melodies remains ever fearless and relevant.

WOMADelaide will be held from 6 – 9 March 2015 in Adelaide’s Botanic Park. For more information, visit: www.womadelaide.com.au for details.

Image: Youssou N’Dour