I had a chat with Fatoumata Diawara ahead of her appearance at WOMADelaide 2019.
Brian: First of all, many congratulations on your nomination for this year’s Grammy Awards for your album Fenfo. Will you be attending the Awards Ceremony?
Fatou: Yes, I’m going to go, definitely. Last year it was the Victoires de la Musique in France, so I’m familiar with the significance of the ceremonies.
Brian: Many West African artists we’ve had at WOMADelaide have been in the wall of sound tradition, with horns, electric guitars and kora all competing for attention. But your new album Fenfo is much more spacious and open in style. Is that the style you prefer to use?
Ahead of his appearance at WOMADelaide 2018, I spoke with Chilean singer, multi-instrumentalist and song-writer Nano Stern about cultural heritage, his hopes for the future and the incomparable instrument, the human voice.
Brian: It’s been six years since we last saw you perform at WOMADelaide, and eight years since your Live in Concert album was recorded in Mullumbimby. What are the main changes we can expect at WOMADelaide 2018? Different instruments and band line-up? More influence of rock and jazz or stronger influence of Chilean roots since your return to live in Santiago? Continue reading →
The sprinkling of rain at the start of this year’s WOMADelaide didn’t do much to quell excitement. A rather good lineup, delicious food stalls, and friendly crowd in Botanic Park all returned to the four day world music festival.
I find it difficult to quantify WOMAD weekends; they’re reliably wonderful experiences and each year the highlights are unexpected, but this felt like a particularly good year. Continue reading →
Telling the WOMADelaide crowds to sit down is a tall order. There’s so much dancing on stage and in the crowd.
But just occasionally there’s a performance of such subtle beauty and dynamic range – such as with the performance of Ravi Shankar and Anoushka Shankar six years ago – that WOMADelaide organisers insist the crowd sit on the grass and focus.
This extract from a classic interview for the New Internationalist magazine illustrates just how many strings The Grammy award-winning musician, writer and UNICEF goodwill ambassador has to her bow. You can read the full interview here.
NI: You left Benin in 1983 to study jazz in Paris, and ended up finding Africa elsewhere: in jazz music in France, then the blues of the US, the carnival and candomblé of Brazil, the salsa of Cuba. Is this testament to the resilience of African music?Continue reading →
Wonderful WOMADelaide starts tonight, and at the launch we’ve just had a taste of what’s to come.
The welcome to Kaurna country by Steve Gadlabardi Goldsmith and the Taikurtinna dancers dragged us very willingly from the humdrum of normal life into the magic of global culture, song and dance that transforms this weekend each year.
“There are no legends” were Hugh Masekela’s parting words from the main stage at WOMADelaide 2013, after the MC had declared “what a legend”, following the extraordinary performance from the 74-year-old giant of African music.
The 2012 National Folk Festival in Canberra was a tonic for the soul. With around 200 international and local acts, the biggest challenge was making sure not to miss that special favourite. Continue reading →
I have a confession. Each year when I look at the WOMADelaide program and study the list of artists I draw a blank. Well, not quite a blank. There are always a few celebrities – the likes of Baaba Maal and Lo’jo who make welcome return visits. Continue reading →