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27th February 2014

Alice Russell, Nitin Sawhney and more for Malmesbury's WOMAD

First acts announced today for the World of Music, Arts and Dance Festival

The first acts have been announced for WOMAD - World of Music, Arts and Dance which is held at Charlton Park, near Malmesbury, in Wiltshire on the 24th to the 27th July 2014.

Acts confirmed are Alice Russell, Nitin Sawhney, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Goran Bregovic Wedding & Funeral Orchestra, Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni ba, Mulatu Astatke, Oliver Mtukudzi and The Black Spirits, Mari Boine, The Gloaming, Roberto Fonseca, Fatoumata Diawara, Dom Flemons, Martin Simpson, Dom Flemons, Kobo Town, Mahsa & Marjan Vahdat, Anna Cinzia Villani & MacuranOrchestra, Ibibio Sound Machine, Magic Drum Orchestra, Nuru Kane, The Good Ones and  Salim-Sulaiman with Karsh Kale.

After she was forced to pull out from last year’s event Alice Russell will be at the festival this summer, offering an excellent opportunity to witness a woman whose vocal range is matched by the gamut of emotions that underpin her performances. Also from these shores, Nitin Sawhney ONEZERO is the live incarnation of the polymath’s ONEZERO album, a cut-straight-to-vinyl retrospective that revisited key moments from his extensive back catalogue.

Nitin Sawhney
Nitin Sawhney
Also confirmed are Fat Freddy’s Drop, the seven-piece New Zealand crew whose heady brew of dub and soul (plus a smidgeon of techno) never fails to fire the festival vibe. Another multi-membered band flying in – albeit from the somewhat closer Balkans – is Goran Bregovic whose Wedding & Funeral Orchestra marry their leader’s rock-star past with the exuberance of the gypsy brass band tradition.

Fat Freddy’s Drop
Fat Freddy’s Drop
Africa is always well represented – and Mali, in particular. Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni ba represent the musically rich country this year. Having graduated from Toumani Diabate’s band to become a star in his own right, Bassekou is the world’s most celebrated player of the ngoni, the ancient harp lute of West Africa. From the other side of the continent comes the mighty Mulatu Astatke. If you’ve ever cupped an ear in the direction of the Ethiopiques reissue series (or to the soundtrack of Jim Jarmusch’s Broken Flowers), you’ll be familiar with this bandleader/composer’s lithe and sensual Ethio-jazz. Mulatu’s performance promises to be a very special one indeed.

Another venerable elder statesman from the top table of African music makes a return to the WOMAD stage when Oliver Mtukudzi – and his excellent band The Black Spirits bring a joyful sound with shimmering Zimbabwean guitars. Norwegian singer Mari Boine who melds elements of folk, rock and jazz to joik, the traditional music of her Sami homeland also returns this year. New Real World signings The Gloaming are also Wiltshire-bound, a five-strong folk super-group that, in the words of The New Yorker, “moves the music of Ireland in captivating new directions”.

There are some  intriguing new, transnational collaborations including the partnership between Cuban pianist Roberto Fonseca and Malian songbird Fatoumata Diawara that aims to explore shared traditions, despite their respective homelands being divided by the Atlantic Ocean. Another attractive teaming-up features former Carolina Chocolate Drops songster Dom Flemons and Martin Simpson, one of the finest folk and blues guitarists these shores have ever produced. Both are impeccable players, making this collaboration a must-see.

Also on the bill are Kobo Town (Trinidad/Canada)- Delightful modern-day calypso from Port of Spain (via Toronto) and underpinned by roots-reggae rhythm and brass.

Mahsa & Marjan Vahdat (Iran) Women singers from Iran are hen’s-teeth-rare, making the intertwining, undulating twin voices of these two sisters from Tehran an important inclusion on this year’s bill.

Anna Cinzia Villani & MacuranOrchestra (Italy) From the heel of Italy – and performing in the pizzica pizzica style – comes this soulful singer who’s every inch the equal of your favourite fado singer.

Ibibio Sound Machine (UK/Nigeria) Fronted by female singer Eno Williams, this project is a brilliant fusion of West African funk and disco and to-the-minute electro.

Magic Drum Orchestra (UK) The drum is everything for this 20-piece percussion collective, delivering samba, Afrobeat, dubstep and almost everything in between.

Nuru Kane (Senegal) Wide-reaching Senegalese troubadour whose one-world vibe is seasoned with plenty of strong North African flavours.

The Good Ones (Rwanda) Genocide-surviving trio whose music is as powerful as their story. “The raw, emotional results are undeniably impressive,” says Mojo magazine.

Salim-Sulaiman with Karsh Kale (India) Bollywood musical directors and siblings Salim and Sulaiman Merchant join forces with Asian Underground pioneer Karsh Kale to create an epic, widescreen soundscape.

Ethiopian jazz, British soul, Kiwi dub, Balkans brass…all will be represented at WOMAD this year.

Ticket Info

Adult Weekend £160
Disabled Adult Weekend £160
SN16 Resident Weekend £115
Adult Weekend + 1 year’s subscription to Songlines £184.75
Further Ticket Pricing for WOMAD 2014
Teenage (aged 14-17yrs) Weekend £80 (Don’t forget to fill out the teenage registration form)
Child (aged 0-13yrs) Weekend FREE (suggested donation of £5 to the WOMAD Foundation)
Thursday £30
Campervan £55
Meadow Campervans £55
Meadow Park & Camp £65
Park & Camp £65
La-Di-Dah Loos £16
Weekend Spa Ticket £115 (17 years and over only plus backstage bar access)

Available from the WOMAD Website
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