With this year’s World Music Expo (WOMEX) set to take place from 19 to 23 October in Santiago de Compostela in Spain, organisers Piranha Arts have revealed the first artists who will showcase at this year's event.
Following a call for applications earlier this year, this year's selection will feature around 60 acts coming from all regions of the globe. The first 23 acts to be confirmed for the WOMEX Showcase Festival represent a wide range of musical colours, ranging from traditional to the latest popular trends.
Of the first 23 artists announced to showcase to the expected 2 500 delegates at WOMEX this year, only four are from Africa. They are Mauritania’s ‘desert blues’ singer Noura Mint Seymali, who earlier this year represented Africa at SXSW in the USA; Mali’s 21st century griots Trio Da Kali; Belgium-based Tunisian band Bargou 08, who bring ‘electrotraditions’ from the mountains of the Maghreb; and Angolan-Portuguese outfit Throes + The Shine, who fuse kuduro with rock and electronic influences.
These acts will join others from around the world: Bixiga 70 (Brazil), Black String (South Korea), C4 Trio (Venezuela), Delgres (Guadeloupe/France), Dudu Tassa & The Kuwaitis (Israel), Gisela João (Portugal), Gulzoda (Uzbekistan), Maïa Barouh (Japan/UK), New York Gypsy All Stars (Macedonia/Turkey/Greece/USA), Okra Playground (Finland), Oligarkh (Russia), Ponk (Czech Republic), Puerto Candelaria (Colombia), Radio Cos (Spain), The East Pointers (Canada), Trad.Attack! (Estonia), Tulegur (China), United Vibrations (UK) and Vassvik (Norway).
"It was an exciting challenge to pull together the showcase selection for this year's WOMEX and I'm thrilled with the diversity of artists and styles that people will be able to enjoy in Santiago," said Oliver Carruthers, Head of Programming at Rich Mix and a member of the Seven Samurai, the international, independent jury of world music experts who had the difficult task of selecting only a tiny percentage of all the high-quality submissions from 120 countries to make up the official WOMEX showcase selection
According to WOMEX director Alexander Walter, "The brilliant jury chose a wide range of musical approaches for the 2016 selection. Being perhaps the most diverse of all music meetings, our showcases overlap with so many other scenes – it really is a celebration of musical adventure. For me this is a testimony to how alive the global music scene is nowadays and how it is developing. We consistently see the showcasers from last year touring around the world now, and I am glad we can introduce yet another rack of great artists to the world's stages and audiences this year. The tremendously good feedback from 2014, the many proposals we received earlier this year and the fact that our registration numbers are good, let me really look forward to October all the more!"
For updates and more details on the Showcase Festival, visit the WOMEX website.