Line up for WOMAD NZ 2013 announced

WOMAD NZ 2013 official logo



Official WOMAD 2013 Line Up Announced Festival features over 200 performers from 21 countries on seven stages new offerings this year include the Human Library available at WOMAD NZ for the first time.

New Zealand’s pre-eminent celebration of music, arts & dance is set to be a sell-out success once again as organisers, Taranaki Arts Festival Trust (TAFT) this evening announce the star-studded line up for WOMAD 2013, to take place at New Plymouth’s Brooklands Park and TSB Bowl 15-17th March 2013.

Widely proclaimed as the “Golden Voice of Africa” Salif Keita will once again illuminate the WOMAD NZ stage, joining already announced headliners, trumpeting master Hugh Masekela and reggae superstar Jimmy Cliff. This arrow head of World Music greatness pierce the way for NZ audiences to witness the mastery of European megastar Goran Bregovic and his Balkan rhythms, all male choir and feisty gypsy brass band.

To quiet yourself after all that Serbian excitement WOMAD are delighted to anounce the Spanish classical genius, Jordi Savall will be performing in his breath takingly beautiful Renaissance style. If that wasn’t enough, “The Hendrix of the Sahara”, Vieux Farka Toure - son of Ali Farka Toure – will be showcasing the spontaneity and spark that have defined his revered live performances.

But it’s not just the international artists that will cause the excitement. The iconic Aotearoa National Maori Choir is reforming especially for WOMAD. Featuring around 80 voices from around New Zealand, Maori waiata we all love, and accompanied by WOMAD 2012 crowd favourites, The Yoots, get ready for what must surely be New Zealand’s biggest sing-along.

Alongside the unique Fly My Pretties and NZ musical icon, David Kilgour along with his Heavy Eights, WOMAD 2013 is shaping to be one of the most musically diverse years in its history. For the first time the WOMAD NZ line-up will be added to by New Zealand’s public vote. WOMAD NZ is running a competition for NZ bands to nominate themselves via the WOMAD website and public votes decide who will play the coveted spot at the festival on Sunday 17 March. Entries have surpassed expectation and with another six weeks until the winner is announced (Thursday December 13), voting is expected to get a little crazy.

WOMAD’s New Zealand Artistic Director, Drew James says “WOMAD 2013 once again traverses the world of music to bring a rich line-up of diverse and unique artists. A festival that truly has something for everyone, from the sublime chants of Tibet, to the power of one of the greats of Jamaican reggae, through to the frenetic energy of a Balkan dance band, WOMAD takes you on a journey of discovery and celebration. The magic of WOMAD starts in the personal one-to-one experiences and is enhanced this year with the introduction of “The Human Library”. So lets open our minds and ears and make WOMAD 2013 another unforgettable experience.”

For the 2013 festival WOMAD adopts a very successsful concept from WOMAD UK, the Human Library. The Human Library allows festival goers to converse with or ‘borrow’ ‘Living Books’ - people who have experienced some form of discrimination or stereotyping. The intent of the Human Library is to challenge stereotypes and give people access to the thoughts & stories of people they would not normally meet.

This adds to the already hugely successful NOVA ENERGY Taste The World stage, Global Village (international food, arts & craft), Sustainable Village, Kunming Garden, Artists In Conversation, Artist Workshops, PaePae, Village Of Wellness and KidZone.

WOMAD tickets have experienced an unprecendented flurry of demand this year and are expected to sell out, so festival-goers are advised not to delay in purchasing their tickets to avoid disappointment. For those who missed out on Earlybird tickets, WOMAD has announced an option, which allows people to make three equal payments in November, December and January, and their ticket will be sent to them in February. Please see the website for details, With so much to be experienced, so much to be shared, so much dancing to be done, WOMAD 2013 is bursting at the seams with great reasons to get your tickets now.


Abigail Washburn and Kai Welch - USA
Steeped in Chinese culture, old-time Americana banjo, this Nashville-based singer/songwriter marries folk with far-flung sounds and indie rock, creating songs unlike anything you’ve ever heard.

Amparo Sanchez (Um-PAH-roh SUN-chezz) - Spain Vivacious and powerful Spanish singer Amparo Sanchez expands on her exuberant roots-reggae-Cuban style, she calls Tucson-Habana, with the dry Americana influence of her collaborators Joey Burns and John Convertino of WOMAD NZ 2010’s favourites Calexico.

Antibalas (An-tee-ballass) - USA
The pulsing Afrobeat legacy of the late Femi Kuti remains alive in the sound of Brooklyn-based Antibalas. This sensational Brooklyn-based 12-piece has mastered the insistent, distinctive rhythms that propel Afrobeat, defined by blazing horns and unrelenting bass and percussion.

Ayarkhaan (Ai-YAR-kaan) - Russia
Ayarkhaan are preserving and revitalising the music of the Yakuts, the indigenous people of the Sakha Republic in Siberia. Their ethereal vocals, combined with Jew’s harp, creates an amazing sound that borders on the realms of electronica.

Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba (Bah-she-koo koo-yah-teh and nn-GOH-nee Bah) - Mali
One of the true masters of the ngoni, a stringed instrument found throughout West Africa, Bassekou Kouyate has performed with artists such as Toumani Diabate, Taj Mahal and the late Ali Farka Toure and is now making his own distinct musical waves with his own with his band Ngoni Ba.

Dj ClicK - France
Dj ClicK sets sail on an electro-gypsy feverish and futuristic odyssey from the fringes of Rajasthan to the tablas of Seville - electro dance artistry.

Goran Bregovic & His Weddings & Funerals Orchestra (Goh-rahn breh-goh-vitch) - Serbia
Balkan folk-rock, blasts of brass and clarinet and a thumping turbo-folk beat will fill the TSB Bowl of Brooklands when Serbian superstar, Goran Bregovic finally comes to New Zealand for the first time. Goran Bregovic fuses European classicism and raucous Balkan rhythms, driven by electric guitar, a feisty gypsy brass band and an all-male choir. Prepare to dance.

Grace Barbe (Grace Barbie) - Seychelles/Australia
This fresh sound is what Seychelles singer/songwriter Grace Barbe calls “Afro-Kreol”. Pop, reggae, funk and Afrobeat are blended with Moutya and Tinge rhythms specific to the Seychelles. Grace sings in Kreol, English and French, retelling ancient tales to present her culture to the wider world.

Hugh Masekela (Hyoo mass-eh-KEH-lah) - South Africa
South African music legend Hugh Masekela plays New Zealand and WOMAD for the first time. His music is a joyous mix of influences from the urban rhythms of South African townships to the mid-century jazz of Miles Davis and Count Basie, distilled through masterful vocals, trumpet, cornet and fuegelhorn.

Hugo Mendez - UK
As a founder of London’s legendary Sofrito Tropical Warehouse parties, DJ Hugo Mendez sits at the forefront of Europe’s ‘tropical funk’ dance scene. Updating classic African, Caribbean and Latin rhythms with contemporary club sounds, the result is a percussive explosion. Think heavy Afro grooves, mambo, tropical disco, samba, calypso, funk and cumbia

Jimmy Cliff - Jamaica
The fire still burns strong within the Godfather of roots-reggae, musician, singer and actor, Jimmy Cliff. The unstoppable 64-year-old revives the spirit of his 40-year-old hits such as You Can Get It If You Really Want and within a rich vein of strong new material.

Jordi Savall (Jor-dee Sah-vahl) - Spain
A performer of pure genius, with thousands of concerts and over 100 recordings under his belt over a 30 year period, Jordi Savall rediscovers abandoned early music treasures. He brings the viol back to life on stage and captures the true spirit of the Rennaissance.

LA-33 - Colombia
Bred from Bogota's fiery and inventive music scene, LA-33 is Colombia’s most famous touring salsa orchestra. Embracing retro cumbria, ska, Latin jazz and old school New York boogaloo in a gritty, urban style, LA-33 have had crowds across the globe stampeding the dance floor.

LAU (Rhymes with COW) - Scotland
Three superstar instrumentalists of the Scottish folk scene joined forces in 2004 as LAU, to try something fresh. Built on the bedrock of folk tradition that bristles with new vitality their original compositions mesh slow-burning intensity and wild abandon.

Manjiri Kelkar (Mun-jee-ree Kel-kar & Soo-dah Rah-goo-nah-thun (soft 'th' as is 'thing', not 'the')) - India
With her melodious voice and fine intonation, the Hindustani classical vocalist Manjiri Kelkar has shot to fame as India’s finest young singer. Her graceful transitions and meticulous attention to the spirit of a raga is enhanced beautifully by Vishwanath Shirodkar on tabla and Seema Shirodkar on harmonium.

Mari Boine (Mah-ree BOI-neh) - Norway
Mari Boine has been at the top of her game since the eighties, thanks to her magnificent voice and knack for working other sounds into joik, the traditional music of her fellow native people. A force to be reckoned with in her quest against the oppression suffered by the Sámi, her performances are both intense and stirring.

Melbourne Ska Orchestra - Australia
The golden period of ska music is revived by the 20-piece Melbourne Ska Orchestra, embracing 1963 Skatalites and Wailers hits through to British Two-Tone. Nicky Bomba, livewire drummer with John Butler Trio, brings together Australia’s best ska and reggae musicians in a big band experience that works the audience into a dance frenzy.

Nidi d’Arac (Nee-dee dah-rak) - Italy
From the Salento region in Southern Italy, Nidi d’Arac mash rural tradition with rock, electronica and beats. Singer Alessandro Coppola founded the band 10 years ago, creating an innovative sound that embraces traditional rhythms and celebrates the Mediterranean’s rich folklore.

Novalima - Peru
Novalima’s ‘new world’ blend of traditional Afro-Peruvian rhythms and melodies with the cutting edge grooves of dub reggae, chilled-out electronica and funky Latin beats has mesmerised audiences all over the planet. Their polished - and sometimes controversial – ‘new world’ blend brings the spirit of Peruvian blues into the 21st century.

Salif Keita (Sar-leaf K-e-eata) - Mali
The “Golden Voice of Africa”, and truly one of the world’s great voices Keita returns to WOMAD. A master of wisdom, funk, soul and rock, Keita’s sandpaper-and-honey voice produces high drama one moment and intimate compassion the next, drawing in his audiences and allowing his roots to speak.

Savoy Family Cajun Band (Sav-wah Family Cay-jnn Band) - USA
Drawing inspiration from house dances in his father's Louisiana kitchen, Marc Savoy started playing button accordion at 12 and has become the finest Cajun player of his generation. With his wife and their sons, the band plays with a plaintive, unvarnished delivery that plucks at the heartstrings.

Shunsuke Kimura and Etsuro Ono (Shun-soo-keh Kee-moo-rah and Et-soo-roh oh-noh) - Japan
Virtuoso players Etsuro Ono and Shunsuke Kimura are innovators of the tsugaru-shamisen, an ancient Japanese banjo that demands dexterous, richly percussive playing. This elegant form of traditional music is now taking a contemporary turn, with its refined sense of dynamic rhythm providing a springboard for jazz-like improvisation.

Soweto Gospel Choir (So-WEH-toh Gospel Choir) - South Africa
Through vibrant rhythm movement and its renowned vocal harmonies, Soweto Gospel Choir’s inimitable performance style has become a worldwide phenomenon. The choir’s 26 singers, dancers and musicians will deliver a flawless performance of traditional and contemporary songs infused with irrepressible spirit.

Sudha Ragunathan (Soo-dah Rah-goo-nah-thun) - India
Ragunathan is one of the most highly regarded singer in the South Indian devotional Carnatic tradition. Adored by audiences, her pure voice and charming stage presence has won her more than 200 awards.

Tenzin Choegyal and the Monks of Tibet (Ten-zin Chur-gyal) - Tibet/Australia
Drawing on his traditional Tibetan roots Tenzin Choegyal creates original compositions which uniquely express his cultural lineage. The cantering rhythms, soaring vocals and exquisite flute solos have enchanted audiences around the globe. Along with the Monks of Tibet, Tenzin will also share the exquisite sounds and crafts of Tibet with the creation of a mandala and weaving and song workshops.

The Alaev Family (The Arrr-lah-yev Family)  - Tajikistan/Israel
Eighty-year-old master drummer Allo Alaev drives a percussion extravaganza when three generations of the Alaev family embrace and refresh old Tajikistan music traditions. The sounds of Central Asia meet Jewish Buchara and world beats, shimmering with gypsy energy atop Turkish clarinet, accordion, violin, Armenian horn and incessant drums.

The Correspondents - UK
The Correspondents revamp vintage sounds for the modern ear. DJ Chuck’s amalgamation of electro, drum ’n’ bass, swing and boogie woogie resuscitates sampled 30s and 40s relics with squelchy synths and dusty drum loops. And Mr Bruce’s joyous dancing offsets searing scats.

VulgarGrad (Vul-gar-Grad) - Australia
Brewed within Melbourne’s underground ethnic music scene, VulgarGrad embraces the old songs of Russian thieves, punk classics of the Perestroika era and a strong dose of contemporary St Petersburg ska. Fronted by singing actor Jacek Koman, this is vodka-fuelled oompah-swing-ska-punk, delivered with raucous menace and grim smiles!

Vieux Farka Toure (Vie-a (a as in I see a dog) >Far- car-tor-ray) - Mali
Building on the legacy of his late father Ali Farka Toure, the precociously talented guitarist Vieux Farka Toure adds elements of wildness and exploration to the potent roots music of West Africa. Known as ‘The Hendrix of the Sahara’, his guitar work represents a mighty bridge connecting American and African blues music and culture.


This new psychedelic funk and rock invention of Aaron Tokona (WETA) hit the New Zealand music scene last summer with a bang. Joined by the soulful voice of LA Mitchell, keys, and a mean rhythm section, AHoriBuzz is great musical madness guaranteed.

Aotearoa National Maori Choir with The Yoots
The iconic National Maori Choir is reforming especially for WOMAD. Featuring 80 voices from around New Zealand, Maori waiata we all love, and accompanied by WOMAD 2012 crowd favourites, The Yoots, get ready for what must surely be New Zealand’s biggest sing-along.

David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights
From his earliest days as a founding member of the legendary Clean, singer/songwriter David Kilgour has stood out on the New Zealand music landscape. A cult hero to many, his signature guitar twang and languid, carefree melodies are well loved. David will be supported at WOMAD by his solid backing band the Heavy Eights.

Electric Wire Hustle Family
Modern hip hop, psychedelic music and soul, Electric Wire Hustle’s unique sound challenges musical boundaries and taken off internationally. At WOMAD the band is joined on stage by their highly musical parents, Congolese master percussionist Sam Manzanza, Maori Jimi Hendrix Billy TK, and traditional Vietnamese vocalist Le Nuong, in a very special presentation.

Fly My Pretties
Fly My Pretties is simply New Zealand’s own supergroup, featuring a moveable fresh feast of the country’s finest contemporary musicians, all set to a stunning visual backdrop. The unique phenomenon which is Fly My Pretties flows seamlessly though folk, rock, blues and funk.

Off the back of her appearance on New Zealand’s Got Talent, Mihirangi returns to WOMAD…. this time with backing. Although reverent in her traditional deliverance, when her groove kicks in, Mihirangi is all liberation and raw power.

Newtown Rocksteady
Hailing from Wellington, Rocksteady delivers a unique take on rocksteady reggae. Sounds and styles are inspired by the late '60s crazes of rocksteady and ska dancehalls in Jamaica and England. The result is an inspired sound, with an infectious combination of mellow rhythms and upbeat dance tunes to get the whole family grooving.

Jax Hamilton
From Masterchef to Nova Energy’s Taste the World at WOMAD…. Jax will host this colourful culinary programme where artists and audience members unite in a glorious celebration of gastronmonic delights and cultural discovery.


WOMAD is an international festival created by Peter Gabriel and Thomas Brooman 24 years ago. Since then 21 countries have hosted the festival and entertained millions of festival-goers. WOMAD tickets are now available from Ticketek - 3 day pass – Youth (13-17yrs) - $189 3 day pass – Adult - $239 Camping, Ezicamp and Glamping options available. 1 day tickets are also available.

The full line-up, detailed information and a media accreditation application are available on the WOMAD website

***ENDS For all media enquiries, please contact: Lisa Paris | Womad 2013 Publicist Ph: +64 9 631 5086 | 0274 318 459 Email: Or Lisa McMullan @ Taranaki Arts Festival Trust Ph: +64 6 759 8412 Email:


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Written by

Taranaki Arts Festival Trust

19 Nov 2012

Interests TAFT’s primary focus is to provide for the community of Taranaki access to high quality affordable events and festivals. We endeavour to present world class events through a world class organisation in world class venues.